Craig Williams has watched videos of his Cox Plate mount Arod and is even more impressed after meeting him in the flesh.
The four-time Melbourne premiership winning jockey ventured to the Werribee quarantine centre on Saturday to partner Arod in his first piece of work since he arrived in Melbourne on October 10.
Arod is on the fourth line of betting at $9 for Saturday’s Cox Plate at Moonee Valley behind Criterion at $5 with Kermadec and Winx at $5.50.
Williams said he was impressed with the son of Teofilo.
“He’s a big strong powerful horse,” Williams said.
“He looks a strong horse in his races watching his replays but I was really happy with the way he went for me.
“It was the first piece of work that he has done and the boys out here with him said they are really happy with him.”
Arod is owned by Qatar Racing and trained in England by Peter Chapple-Hyam.
Williams has had a strong association with Qatar Racing and Sheikh Fahad al Thani through Caulfield Cup winner Dunaden and more recently Noble Protector.
Arod hasn’t raced since finishing second to Solow in the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood in July with the winner stamping the form with victory in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot on Saturday.
Williams does not think the tight Moonee Valley circuit will be a problem for Arod nor is he concerned about a firm track on Saturday.
“It (Werribee) did have plenty of water on it for good safe ground for the European horses but I actually think he will be better on top of the ground,” he said.
Williams is likely to return to Werribee on Wednesday to partner Arod in some work before Saturday’s race.
“I would love to see how he’s come on, but it was a really good first ride, so I’m really happy,” Williams said.