Craig Williams chasing a third G1 Caulfield Cup

There are many big races in Australia that all have something a little different about them – think the Melbourne Cup, Cox Plate, Golden Slipper and even The Everest.

But for something unique there is the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) which will be run on Saturday.

Jockey Craig Williams has won all five races and is a dual winner of the Caulfield Cup, winning with Southern Speed (2011) and Dunaden (2012).

Both those winners were ridden in contrasting fashion with Southern Speed riding the pace while Dunaden swept widest in the straight coming from last on the turn.

On Saturday Williams partners the Chris Waller-trained Soulcombe and will be hoping to have that gelding parked somewhere in between his two previous victors.

“The Caulfield Cup is such a unique and rare race,” Williams said.

“You sprint from the barriers to get your position out of the straight the first time, then you have to get your staying horse to relax.

“Because of the circumference and its design, Caulfield is a very tricky track for a lot of horses, there’s a lot of little straights and tight turns.

“You need the right horse that can balance and quicken around the bend at the end of 2400 metres after sprinting early, relaxing and against some of the world’s best mile-and-a-half handicappers in the world.”

Williams believes Soulcombe fits that bill.

Soulcombe has drawn barrier six and can be a little slow from the barriers, but Williams will not be attempting to change the gelding’s manners.

Williams rode Soulcombe conservatively after a slow beginning when the gelding run home into third place behind Gold Trip in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington last start.

“It’s a trait and it’s not something that he has learned over time,” Williams said.

“When you look at his European replays, he has dwelt and stepped slow, but he’s then been able to muster and get into a nice rhythm.

“He hasn’t found himself last in any of his races this preparation, but importantly he’s been able to do it smoothly without over-racing, which could compromise the way he finishes his race off.

“He’s going really, really well and I really love the way he felt for me in the Turnbull which is the only time I’ve been on his back since I won the Queen’s Cup on him last spring.

“It was really good to get a feel of him and I’m looking forward to mounting up on him on Saturday.”

About RS NewsWire

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