Craig Williams Jockey Of The Month February 2018
Jockey Of The Month: February 2018 Craig Williams
It has been a bit beyond three years since we last nominated Craig Williams as the BetsFree Jockey of the Month, but a look at what he did in February of 2018 makes it obvious that he deserves selection for this month’s accolade.
His most recent win was the Group 3 Premier Signs Mannerism Stakes at Caulfield, where he crossed on Silent Sedition, carrying top weight and beating favourites Flippant and Samovare. Williams and Silent Sedition had an easy time of it, coming across with a better than two-length lead.
No sooner had Williams caught his breath that he climbed aboard Brave Smash to win the Group 1 italktravel Futurity Stakes. Williams was on the $4.80 favourite, but the field was full of proven horses, including second place runner Tosen Stardom, Showtime, Humidor and Mighty Boss.
Williams concluded the day with a third place ride on Hartnell in the Group 2 Carlton Draught Peter Young Stakes.
The day prior, Craig Williams brought home two winners at Moonee Valley, riding Demerara for James Cummings and Demonstrate for Allan and Jason Watson.
Two days’ riding right there is almost enough for us to give the nod to Williams, but earlier in the month, he rode Super Cash for the win at Caulfield in the Group 2 Schweppes Rubiton Stakes. In the race immediately following, Williams nearly got Nick Price’s Holy Snow to the line, finishing second despite jumping on a horse that jumped at $16.
Later in the meeting, he managed to steer veteran campaigner Hartnell to the win in the Group 1 Ladbrokes C F Orr Stakes.
Cap those wins from above with two at Bendigo on February 9 and it is not hard to see that Williams was the class of the field for the month.
As of late February 2018, Craig Williams is atop the premiership standings for the metro tracks of Victoria, his 39 wins five wins clear of Damian lane and seven better than Mark Zahra. The thing that jumps out regarding that statistic is that Williams has been showing up for work on a regular basis, having made almost 30 more starts than his closest pursuer.
Williams does the majority of his riding in Victoria, by a huge margin. He has made over 11,000 starts with the metro and country tracks combined. He has also done a little international riding.
At 40 years of age, it could be said that Williams is in that perfect sweet spot between age and experience and he considers having won two Caulfield Cups, two Cox Plates and one Golden Slipper Stakes as his greatest accomplishments.
He obviously would like to add the Melbourne Cup to his trophy case, but many of the finest jockeys Australia has produced have had banner careers, and yet failed to win the Cup, so Williams has some keen company and he still has some time to win the big one.
Congratulations to the BetsFree Jockey of the Month, Craig Williams.