Williams, Guest go separate ways

Leading Victorian rider Craig Williams has split with long-time manager Mark Guest.

Williams explained after he rode Pretty Punk to victory at Flemington on Saturday that after 12 years the pair decided to go separate ways.

‘’We had a talk on Thursday and decided that we had two different models going in different directions,’’ Williams.

‘’We’ve had great success together over a long time but for the time being we are taking different paths.’’

Guest said on Saturday that he would continue to work in the role of manager for jockey Regan Bayliss and will be the new manager for the currently banned rider James McDonald.

McDonald returns from an 18-month suspension for illegal betting on May 15. Guest said the rider would ride in both Sydney and Melbourne on his return.

‘’He will be riding where there are the best opportunities,’’ he said.

As for Pretty Punk, she registered the first Flemington win for veteran Adelaide trainer Leon Macdonald, who reckons his last winner at headquarters was his Caulfield Cup winner Southern Speed, who took the 2012 Makybe Diva Stakes.

Macdonald said the four-year-old mare was a genuine stayer and was likely to target the Hobart and Launceston Cups in Tasmania before a possible tilt at the Adelaide Cup in May.

Pretty Punk, who was bred by long time stable supporter Harry Perks, is by Rebel Raider, who Macdonald trained to win the Victoria Derby in 2008 at the odds of $101.

Craig Williams, picture