Williams relishes premiership challenge

Craig Williams was happy enough with the metro double he recorded at Sandown on Wednesday but was quick to comment 'I'd be happier if I was 10 in front'.

Trailing Beau Mertens by two city winners with just five metropolitan meetings left, Williams has likened 19-year-old Mertens to the bunny out in front, determined to chase and catch him, and he is taking the challenge very seriously.

"Beau had an amazing weekend last weekend [riding a treble at Flemington], and I am looking forward to the 42 races left [until season's end]," Williams said.

"It's quite exciting and I am looking forward to the challenge."

At a similar point in the season last year, current Scobie Breasley Medallist Dwayne Dunn had been setting the pace in the title hunt but Williams roared home to take out his fifth premiership, so Dunn knows all too well what Mertens can expect.

"Craig pulls out all stops, he goes and rides trackwork where he never would normally and he pulls a few punches as well … I think Craig has probably got too many guns stacked away," Dunn said.

At Caulfield this Saturday, Williams has a full book of rides, which includes two favourites.

One of those is the Ciaron Maher-trained Enigman, who is rated a $4 chance to beat rivals Revolving Door ($4.40) and My Paisann ($8) with Sportsbet.

Williams partnered the colt last start at the same track/trip he faces on Saturday and knows he has a few quirks which need to be ironed out.

"We do have to find a key with him because he had a perfect run last start and he was moving around a little bit early, but he had a perfect run in transit and he was under full pressure but just missed out in the end," Williams explained.

"He took a lot of riding but he gave me a lovely ride throughout.

"He meets similar types of horses again and on a similar weight scale.

"Ciaron has changed his training around and he's got a gear change going into Saturday [winkers first time].

"If he can find a key and find half a length then of course he can win that race."


Craig Williams, picture