Williams shrugs off inquiry to land double
Craig Williams rode a double yesterday but left with his day soured as stewards adjourned an inquiry into his handling of Trust Me in the second event.
The hard-working lightweight landed Enchanted an easy winner for Caspar Fownes in the third and the David Hayes-trained Fuji Sunrise in the final event with perfect displays despite having the inquiry hanging over his head.
Stewards took evidence from Williams and trainer Ricky Yiu Poon-fie before adjourning the hearing over the run of Trust Me, who club vets found to have a significant amount of blood in his trachea following the race.
Enchanted never gave a moment's worry to favourite backers in winning by a wide margin. By Danzero from Suburban Blues, he is a full brother to John Moore's Noble Crusader and the Ricky Yiu-trained Danhero, and gives the impression there are more wins to come.
'I think he's very progressive,' said Fownes. 'He has been green in his first three starts but the turning point was the barrier trial recently with Craig aboard.
'The horse was a bit reluctant to go inside horses but Craig pushed him into the gaps, made him do it and that gave him confidence,' Fownes added.
Williams also rode cleverly to win the last on Fuji Sunrise, owned by Financial Secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen. 'Tactically a perfect ride from the wide draw. The horse prefers to have cover but he couldn't afford to go back and give them a start the way it was run,' said Hayes, who revealed that Fuji Sunrise had almost been given up on very early in his career. 'He's had two operations on his stomach, one in Australia and one here. He got colic and had to have a hernia removed and I haven't seen many that were any good after that but this guy's been tough all season.'
Williams was not the only jockey in the hot seat as South African Glyn Schofield faced questioning over his ride on The King in race eight after critical comments from the horse's trainer, Tony Millard.
'Millard did not make a formal complaint about the ride, but did comment unofficially that he had asked for the horse to be ridden in the first four or five and was critical of Schofield for getting back in the field,' said chief steward Jamie Stier. However, Stier went on to explain that the jockey had been a victim of circumstances, with The King being shuffled back behind Freebird when that horse had been unable to hold his place.