Having ridden at a light weight in the Melbourne Cup and again in Hong Kong five days later, Craig Williams has been able to snap up the ride on So Si Bon at short notice in the Group Two Zipping Classic.
The Robbie Laing-trained three-year-old colt forms part of a strong book of feature race rides for Williams at Sandown on Saturday includinig the favourite Morton’s Fork in the day’s other main event, the Group Two Sandown Guineas (1600m).
Under the weight-for-age conditions, So Si Bon has 50.5kg.
“I had a light ride in the Melbourne Cup and I had a light ride in Hong Kong on Sunday,” Williams said.
Williams rode fourth-placed Qewy in last Tuesday week’s Melbourne Cup at 50.5kg.
He said when his manager contacted him on Monday regarding the possible ride on So Si Bon in the Zipping Classic (2400m), Williams told him it would not be a problem.
So Si Bon is on the second line of betting at $4.80 behind last year’s winner Who Shot Thebarman ($3).
The colt’s only win is a Pakenham maiden but he has shown his talent with a fast-finishing fifth in the Group One Caulfield Guineas, third in the Moonee Valley Vase and fourth in the Victoria Derby (2500m).
“He was an excellent performer in the Caulfield Guineas,” Williams said.
“Then it showed he’s solid enough when he competed so well in the Derby at the extended trip.
“It shows that he’s got good class. He has a huge weight advantage and obviously the stable is extremely happy with the way he came through the Derby, but he’s taking on a lot more versatile and seasoned stayers.
“But I think he’s in the right race to make his presence felt under the conditions.”
Williams was impressed by the John O’Shea-trained Morton’s Fork when he rode him to a close second behind Comin’ Through in the Group Three Carbine Club Stakes at Flemington, a traditional guide to the Guineas.
“He performed really well and I felt after that day that in the autumn he’s going to end up being a really nice horse, whether that be a Guineas or even a Derby horse,” Williams said.
“I’m glad for my sake that he’s continued on to the Sandown Guineas where he’s going to be one of the main chances.”
Williams has a full book of 10 rides at Sandown’s main meeting for the year.