Craig Williams has renewed acquaintances with Hokko Brave in a track gallop at Werribee in an endeavour to learn more about his Melbourne Cup mount.
Williams rode Hokko Brave when the Japanese stayer finished 10th to Mongolian Khan in the Caulfield Cup on October 17 at his first start since his sixth in the Tenno Sho at Kyoto in early May.
The jockey rode Hokko Brave in a gallop in the lead-up to the Caulfield Cup and Sunday’s work-out was the first time he was been back aboard since that race.
He will return to Werribee on Friday to give the horse his final piece of solid work.
“I’m getting to know Hokko Brave really well so I’ll get another assessment on him as he gets towards the peak,” Williams said.
“It is important that he keeps climbing those steps up, not down.”
Williams gave Hokko Brave a pass mark after the Caulfield Cup and said he had confidence in the horse stepping up in distance at Flemington on Tuesday week.
He believes Hokko Brave has the statistics to suggest he will perform better at the 3200 metres of the Melbourne Cup and is never one to question the Japanese training methods.
Williams said Hokko Brave was quite full of himself on Sunday’s warm-up lap.
“But when I asked him to do his work he was quite one-paced and didn’t respond to my riding straight away,” Williams said.
“After the winning post I went to ease him down and then he started to quicken up.
“As I explained that to the handlers, they explained they have been getting him to run down the side straight.”
Hokko Brave is one of two Japanese gallopers contesting the Melbourne Cup.
Fellow traveller Fame Game is the $4 favourite after his eye-catching sixth place finish at Caulfield while Hokko Brave is currently a $19 chance.