No decision on Americain jockey
SYDNEY, April 16 AAP – Americain’s Queen Elizabeth Stakes jockey hasn’t been finalised but trainer David Hayes has confirmed Craig Williams is in the running for the prized ride.
Hayes said although reports linking Williams with the mount on the internationally-acclaimed stayer were premature they were not without substance.
“There is no confirmation of a jockey yet,” Hayes told AAP.
“But if an Australian jockey is engaged it will be Craig Williams.”
Since French jockey Gerald Mosse was widely criticised for his BMW Stakes ride on Americain, there has been much speculation on a replacement for Saturday week’s Group One.
Mosse navigated a three-wide passage in the weight-for-age feature before Americain was beaten into second place by Manighar.
The previously Hong Kong-based Mosse has ridden Americain 15 times, winning eight races on the stallion including the 2010 Melbourne Cup.
Williams’s Melbourne-based riding agent Mark Guest manager said the in-form jockey had ridden Americain in a Randwick track gallop.
“I know he worked the horse on Saturday morning but I haven’t been told he will be riding it in the Queen Elizabeth,” Guest said.
The Queen Elizabeth promises to bring together a star-studded field in a fitting autumn weight-for-age finale.
It will be the third autumn clash between Americain and the Peter Moody-trained Manighar.
Manighar holds a two-nil lead after his Australian Cup and BMW Stakes triumphs.
The 2000m contest will give Williams a chance to increase his 2011-2012 Group One tally.
His TJ Smith Stakes win on Master Of Design took his season’s haul to eight.
“That equals his best for a season,” Guest said.
Williams pocketed eight Group One victories in 2006-2007, boosted by four wins on the Hayes-trained Miss Finland.
Confirming his reputation as a seasoned international competitor, Williams has won Group One races this season in Hong Kong, Japan and Dubai as well as Australia.
His Doncaster day book includes Sincero in the main race as well as Lone Rock in the Group One Galaxy.
Williams combined with Hayes when Nicconi won the 2009 Galaxy but they will be in opposite corners in this year’s edition.
Hayes will start Eagle Falls in the sprint, confident the 2011 Oakleigh Plate winner can rediscover some form.
“It was good to see Master Of Design turn his form around from the Newmarket by winning the TJ Smith,” Hayes said.
“I’m hoping Eagle Falls can do the same.”
Eagle Falls managed to beat Master Of Design home when they were both down the track in last month’s Newmarket at Flemington.Headline: RACE:No decision on Americain jockey
16 Apr 10:40 PM