In just over a fortnight champion hoop Craig Williams will be once again teamed up with legged up on to the horse he won the Geelong Cup aboard, Dunaden.
However this time, the pair will be in Hong Kong with their sights set on the International Vase run over 12 furlongs. A win will douse any lingering sorrows Williams still holds.
Despite the suspension, Williams is one of the in-form riders on the international scene.
Williams continued his outstanding form in the saddle on Sunday when he rode TosenJordaninto second place behindBuena Vistain the Japan Cup. During the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival, Williams won the Caulfield Cup on Southern Speed and the Cox Plate on Pinker Pinker.
The duo went head to head a furlong from the post however Williams was beaten by a neck.
Interestingly,Buena Vistawas ridden by Yasunari Iwata who was successful aboard Delta Blues in the 2007 Melbourne Cup. It was the second timeBuena Vistahad crossed the line first in the Japan Cup. Last year, she was first passed the post until stewards lodged an inquiry and the race was taken from her.
One person who will be well aware of how good Duneden is is Frenchman Christophe Lemaire. Lemaire will either ride Shareta (second in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe) or Vadamar (a Group 2 winner inFrance) – both owned by the Aga Khan.
Others to content the Vase will be Red Cadeaux who finished second to Duneden in the closet ever finish to the Melbourne Cup and the Ed Dunlop trained and five-time Group 1 winner Snow Fairy – a winner of the Epsom and Irish Oaks, Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Cup and Hong Kong Cup.