The much-travelled Rebecca Williams can take advantage of a shortage of claiming apprentices in Brisbane when she rides well fancied Hard Stride at Eagle Farm.
Emma Ljung and Sarah Eilbeck are injured, Tiffani Brooker is suspended, and Matt McGillivray is riding in Sydney meaning Williams is one of the few claiming apprentices eligible to ride at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
A win in the DPMA Hcp (1000m) would thrust her into the limelight at a time other claiming apprentices Josh Oliver and Bridget Grylls are also facing lengthy suspensions.
Williams, who is apprenticed to her mother Jenny Williams, rode a winner at Echuca in Victoria on Sunday but has mainly been riding on the Darling Downs.
She has been in good form with seven winners in recent weeks.
Williams rode Hard Stride when the Tony Sears-trained gelding was second at Doomben three weeks ago when he was only caught in the final 50 metres.
“Rebecca has been riding for a me a bit and they haven’t missed Hard Stride at the weights. He has won once in nearly two years and her claim will reduce his 59 kilos to 56,” Sears said.
“Hard Stride will also need a bit of luck from his barrier (7) so the claim is important.”
Sears is building a strong relationship with Hard Stride’s owner, Victorian-based David Moodie and his Contract Racing syndicates.
“I’ve got the more-than-handy Pillar of Creation, who isn’t far off coming back, for David and a few more have arrived recently,” Sears said.
Among the new additions is El Greco who has twice been placed in stakes company in Melbourne.