Williams ruled out of Gold Cup through suspension

Australian jockey Craig Williams’ chance of getting a berth on an EA2 for a crack at back-to-back Singapore Gold Cups wins was already slim, but it has now been completely snuffed out after he was ruled out from the Sunday glamour meeting through a suspension handed back home at the just-concluded Melbourne Cup meeting.

The winning jockey aboard Bahana in last year’s Dester Singapore Gold Cup (2200m), Williams, who was granted a one-day licence to ride at the meeting of this year’s renewal, incurred an 11-day suspension for careless riding on his mount Ozi Choice in Race 3, the Lavazza Short Black (1400m) at Flemington on Tuesday.

The Melbourne champion jockey subsequently lodged an appeal against the conviction and the penalty on Wednesday. Heard on the same day, the appeal against the conviction was dismissed while the appeal against the severity of the penalty was allowed, but shortened to expire by one day only - on November 16 instead of November 17, which effectively means Williams will still not be able to honour his rides in Singapore this Sunday.

Stewards convicted Williams for careless riding with the charge being that approaching the 800m, he permitted Ozi Mount to shift in when not fully clear of Snipfit (Luke Nolen), resulting in Snipfit having to be checked. In assessing penalty Stewards took into account the carelessness was in the mid-range.

Williams was approached to ride the Lee Freedman-trained Chairman, who incidentally is the Emergency Acceptor No 2, in the Singapore Gold Cup.