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strong>It was a case of when two doors shut another one opened for top jockey Craig Williams who has picked up the ride on Sea Battle in Saturday’s Memsie Stakes at Caulfield.
Williams, who has won the past four Scobie Breasley Medals, has been replaced on the David Hayes-trained Von Costa De Hero in the Memsie by Craig Newitt while Glen Boss takes over aboard Orange County in the Group Two weight-for-age 1400m feature.
Hayes wasn’t happy with Williams’ ride on favourite Von Costa De Hero who struck trouble in running after being slowly away when fifth to Raffaello over 1200m at Caulfield last Saturday week.
Williams rode the horse for luck on the inside but was unable to get clear running until 150m from home when he charged home to be beaten 2-1/4 lengths, running the fastest last 200m of the event.
But Hayes said he went against a stable rule of riding quietly and going to the outside after a mount misses the start.
He selected Newitt as he wanted a left-handed whip rider on the Encosta De Lago four-year-old entire.
Connections of the Brian Mayfield-Smith-trained Orange County were after a change of luck by opting for a new rider after the grey ran fifth to Predatory Pricer in the 2009 JJ Liston Stakes (1400m) after striking interference at the start at Caulfield last Saturday week.
Williams hasn’t done anything wrong on Orange County but hasn’t managed to get him home a winner in six rides which have yielded one placing.
Sea Battle, a member of the strong Mark Kavanagh team, gives Williams the chance to ride his second Memsie winner in the last three runnings having won aboard the Hayes-trained Miss Finland in 2007.
A Quest For Fame six-year-old entire, Sea Battle hasn’t raced since finishing runner-up to All Silent in the Group One Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington in November.
Kavanagh will also start 2009 Cox Plate favorite Whobegotyou in the Memsie with Steven King replacing the suspended Damien Oliver.
Whobegotyou came home powerfully to finish a half-neck second in the Liston when resuming.
Williams, who was flying back from a holiday in Broome on Wednesday, has already been booked for seven rides on the eight-race program at Caulfield.
He broke up his holiday by returning to ride at Moonee Valley last Saturday when he won on Secret Flyer.
“It’s business as usual,” his manager Mark Guest said.
Williams’ mounts include the Hayes-trained first starter Cross Street in the Group Three McNeil Stakes (1200m) and stablemate Recorrido in the Special Harmony Hcp (1400m).
He has been engaged to ride the Mayfield-Smith-trained Velocitea in the Reactive Hcp (1100m) while his other rides are Imashadow in Listed The Heath 1100, Vandalo in the Listed Heatherlie Hcp (1700m) and Leica Ding in the Rivette Hcp (1400m).
Article by Mark Ryan Aapracing