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Champion jockey Craig Williams is surging towards his eighth Melbourne premiership

Champion jockey Craig Williams is surging towards his eighth Melbourne premiership and is poised to add to his season tally with a strong book of rides at Caulfield.

With just over a month of the season remaining, Williams holds a 15-win lead over 10-time premier rider Damien Oliver who misses Saturday and Wednesday at Sandown because of suspension.

Williams’ book of nine rides at Caulfield on Saturday includes three favourites in their respective races (Morrissy, Highland Beat, One More Try), while another four of his rides are on the second line of betting.

Trainer Matt Cumani has secured Williams for his two runners including One More Try who is now the short-priced favourite for the Ladbrokes Back Yourself Handicap (1800m) with her last-start conqueror Dr Drill scratched.

“I think she’ll put in a really good effort and she’s a tough, genuine mare,” Cumani said.

Cumani also believes Doroza is capable of running a big race in the MRC Handicap (2000m) for which the colt was a $9.50 chance on Friday.

The race is part of the Mahogany Challenge for three-year-olds, with the final of the series a week later at Flemington over 2500m.

“I think he’s a horse with potential,” Cumani said.

“We’re hoping he can run a really good race on Saturday and then we might look at the final, but he would have to probably win or go very close to back up the following week and then that would probably be the end of his prep.”

Cumani said the distance of Saturday week’s final was a concern at this stage of Doroza’s career.

“He probably wants another prep and probably a gelding operation to make sure that he can get the 2500,” he said.

“He’s still quite a heavy horse – small but heavy – but he’s got a lovely long action.

“I think if we geld him and give him a bit more time he’ll come back a lean, mean fighting machine and I think will suit staying races.”

Doroza was sixth to Dogmatic over 2000m last start and Cumani said he needed a few things to go his way to win on Saturday.

“He needs a nice smooth run,” he said.

“He doesn’t want checking at all because he’s got quite a long stride.

“But he’s a really nice horse. I have high hopes for him, but it might just take a bit of time.”

 
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