As the Melbourne metropolitan jockeys’ premiership hots up, Craig Williams is hoping to get the call from David Hayes to partner Criterion at Royal Ascot.
Hayes and Criterion’s owner Sir Owen Glenn are scheduled to meet in England on Tuesday to finalise a jockey for the four-year-old in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes on June 17.
If Williams gets the nod, he will happily forgo rides in Melbourne to reunite with Criterion who he rode to win the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick during The Championships.
“I’ve spoken to David and I was very happy with what he spoke to me about,” Williams said.
“He’s got a meeting face-to-face with Sir Owen tomorrow so hopefully we’ll have some news soon.”
After riding at the past two Group One meetings in Brisbane, Williams drew level with Damien Oliver in the premiership race with a double at Mornington on Monday.
His winners came aboard Airalign and Domino Vitale while Oliver saluted on Pantuo.
With 15 metropolitan meetings left for the season, Williams and Oliver lead Dwayne Dunn by three.
A double for apprentice Patrick Moloney, to go with two winners at Moonee Valley on Saturday and a treble the week before, has him in fourth spot on 38.
Williams says there are 14 meetings he could potentially ride at if he doesn’t get the call up for Criterion.
“I went through the calendar and ticked off the meetings I might be here for,” he said.
“There’s 14 meetings that I will be here for if I don’t go to England.
“My first priority would be to secure some nice rides in England but then if I’m home I’ll be putting all my energies into winning the premiership.
“But I’m hoping I’ll be off to Royal Ascot.”
Oliver rides at Flemington on Wednesday and Saturday before leaving for England on Sunday where he will partner Wandjina in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes on June 20.
He is unsure when he will return to Melbourne.