MULTIPLE group 1 winning jockey Craig Williams will join forces with Team Williams for a hit-and-run mission aboard Practiced in tomorrow week’s Listed Albury Gold Cup.
Williams is a regular choice of jockey for Leviathan owners Lloyd and Nick Williams.
He last rode at Albury on cup day two years ago.
He will fly by helicopter to ride the Robert Hickmott-trained galloper in the $170,000 feature before returning to Melbourne for several mounts at the William Reid Stakes night meeting at Moonee Valley, highlighted by the appearance of Black Caviar.
The champion hoop, who is in career-best form, rode four of the first five winners on last Saturday’s bumper Australian Cup program.
Williams won the first two races, aboard the Peter Snowden-trained Montsegur and Ellerton Zahra Racing’s Crystal Web, before partnering Budriguez to a dead-heat victory with Puissance de Lune in the group 2 Blamey Stakes.
He then teamed with Flying Snitzel to score perhaps the win of the day in the $220,000 group 2 Kewney Stakes (1400m).
Williams’ ride in the Albury cup two years ago was aboard the Lee Freedman-trained favourite Fanjura, which finished fourth behind Paddy O’Reilly in the strongest cup field to date.
Williams will be out to emulate champion hoop Glen Boss who flew to Albury specifically to ride the Robert Smerdon-trained Paddy O’Reilly to a cup win.
Team Williams will also be chasing its first victory in the feature event.
This will be its second tilt at the cup – C’est La Guerre finished fifth in 2011 when ridden by Nicholas Hall.
The Macedon Lodge stable is set to have several other runners over the Albury carnvial with Lloyd and Nick Williams’ company Hudson Conway group a major sponsor.
Somerset Rise, a new 425-lot Hudson Conway real estate development on Albury’s outskirts at Thurgoona, is sponsoring the $50,000 Flatknacker on Albury cup day and is offering a $115,000 block of land as a prize for a lucky racegoer.
Practiced has recorded three wins and six placings from just 13 starts and has been ridden by Williams in his past eight races.
Practiced’s spring campaign included a Caulfield win over 2000 metres and placings in the Bendigo Cup (2400m) and Lavazza Long Black (2800m) at Flemington on Melbourne Cup day before a spell.
He resumed with an excellent second to the David Hayes-trained Auld Burns over 1700 metres at Caulfield on March 2.
Auld Burns will also be nominated for the 2000-metre feature, with nominations closing at 11am tomorrow.