Fortune smiles on stand-in Williams

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 27 March, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 27 March, 2005, 12:00am

A strange twist of fate brought Craig Williams home the winner of race six at Sha Tin yesterday on Francis Lui Kin-wai-trained Global Fortune instead of champion jockey Douglas Whyte.

Though Williams has done much of the riding on Global Fortune, connections had sought to replace him with Whyte for yesterday's race, but Williams got the ride back again when the Durban Demon was suspended for careless riding and missed the meeting.

'Craig knows the horse so well and I was happy to have him back on the horse when Douglas was suspended,' said Lui. 'But Craig was lucky to even be riding himself because he was suspended first and was only riding today because he appealed.'

Williams has an appeal pending against a 16-meeting ban imposed by stewards for his riding of Trust Me in an all-weather race on March 5.

'I would have been unhappy to miss out being on the horse today,' Williams said. 'I've ridden the horse in nine of his previous 15 starts and in both of his other wins so we have had a good association together. A little bit of give in the ground today helped him, as it always does.

'Global Fortune has had his problems but he had been feeling much better in work in recent weeks so I was confident he could run well.'

Global Fortune, like a number of winners yesterday, was able to find a fast track down the centre of the course to collar Telecom Superboss in the final 100 metres.

If Whyte was disappointed to miss Global Fortune, he might also have had to count himself unlucky not to ride Master Gigolo to victory for John Moore in race eight - even if he had been in action. 'Douglas rode him when he won earlier this season and he was down for the ride today if he had been riding until we had a little disagreement lately about him getting off my horses,' Moore said.