Williams returns with point to prove

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 26 April, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 26 April, 2006, 12:00am

Australian jockey Craig Williams will make a triumphant return to Sha Tin this Sunday to pilot Macau's leading Hong Kong-Macau Trophy hopeful, St Moritz.

The popular rider has been riding winners all over the place since returning to Australia disappointed at not being relicensed in Hong Kong, with four Group Ones. The pinnacle was a breathtaking win on the David Hayes-trained Miss Finland in the world's richest two-year-old race, the Golden Slipper.

'At the time, I was very disappointed at leaving Hong Kong as I'd worked very hard to improve myself, but I've got the benefit of all the hard work in the end anyway and I wouldn't swap the job I've got now with David,' said Williams, who kicked home a double yesterday to stretch his Melbourne championship advantage to nine wins over the nearest chaser, Danny Nikolic.

'Actually, Danny rode St Moritz in the Macau Derby win but he's suspended at the moment. I had won a couple on Easy Punch for the horse's owner, Mr Choy Ching-moon, last season, so when the ride became available and he asked me to come, I jumped at the chance.'

Williams has picked up six other rides as well as the Stephen Brown-trained Macau Derby winner, and he may be back in Hong Kong the following week to ride Niconero for Hayes in the Group One Champions Mile.

'That will depend on David. There is Group One racing in Adelaide the same day and if he wants me to ride the stable runners there instead, then I will, but I'd love to come back and win a big one in Hong Kong,' Williams said.

One of Williams' wins yesterday was on former Hong Kong-based Vroom Vroom, who bolted in with his preparation race for the Singapore International Airlines Cup at Kranji next month.

Williams will go to Kranji with the gelding, the pair having won four of five left-handed starts in Australia since Vroom Vroom was compulsorily retired from Hong Kong last season.