Craig Williams took advantage of Good Project’s light weight to replicate his effort of five years ago, when he led from pillar-to-post, to give trainer Chris Waller his 10th Group 1 in today’s $1 million James Boag’s Premium Railway Stakes (1600m).
The Victorian jockey was offered the ride on the four-year-old stallion after Waller’s regular Group 1 partner Hugh Bowman was unable to make the 53kg.
Williams won the 2010 Railway Stakes on the John Thompson trained Gathering employing the same tactics by letting the galloper slide along comfortably in the lead.
Good Project, who was well backed in pre-post betting at $12, started at $6 in the Ascot ring.
Williams speared the Not A Single Doubt horse to the front with Hazzabeel ($10) and the Sydney galloper Messene ($12) coasting along in his wake.
Williams was never in danger of losing when he skipped away on the corner, bounding to a two length win, running 1min 34.52sec on a day where three race records were broken and one equalled.
Waller’s representative at Ascot was his Melbourne foreman Justine Hales, who complimented Williams for his endeavour.
“I said to Craig before the race he has got to jump out and take the lead,” Hale said. “I didn’t think he’d get there that easily.
“He is a great rider and thinks everything through.
“Chris had ummed-and-ahhed a little bit about coming.
“He started thinking about the Railway for him and then had a couple of others coming.
“He decided this horse ran so great in Melbourne he’d give him his chance.”
Good Project jumped from a benchmark 90 race at Flemington on Melbourne Cup day to win at his maiden start in a Group 1.
Waller had scratched Good Project from last Saturday’s Sandown Stakes (1400m) to bring the horse to Perth.
Williams rode Stratum Star to win the Sir Rupert Clarke at Caulfield and was the second leading rider behind James McDonald at the Melbourne Cup carnival.
He returned to riding on Friday from a riding suspension.
Waller won his first WA Group 1 with Moriarty in last year’s Kingston Town Classic, after first coming to Ascot in 2010 with Triple Honour.
It was Williams’ first trip to Perth since he rode King Saul to win the 2011 WA Guineas.
Waller may pay the late entry fee to have Good Project included into Saturday week’s $1 million Kingston Town Classic (1800m). –‘The West Australian