Reigning premiership-winning jockey Craig Williams was fined a total $2000 at Caulfield on Saturday, for a bizarre situation that saw him ride Hartnell in the P.B. Lawrence Stakes with farrier tools in his boots.
Williams weighed out to ride Hartnell in the Group 2 feature wearing the heavier vest, but also weighed out for his ride in the following race, the Listed Regal Roller Stakes, prior to race seven, and required a lighter vest to make the weight for his ride on Souchez.
The 40-year-old hoop, who rode a feature double on Saturday, only realised he still had the lighter vest on when behind the barriers for the Lawrence, potentially jeopardising his chances in the race if he happened to weigh in light.
Hence, Williams decided to seize some farrier equipment and place it in his riding boot to make the weight, and he subsequently rode “in excess of one kilogram” over the declared weight of 59kg.
Making the incident even more bizarre is that Williams is renowned for being the ultimate pro when it comes to raceday preparation, making this a rare blip for the 47-time Group 1 winner.
Then again, while it was not ideal, Williams – unsure of what his weight was with the lighter vest on – ensured Hartnell would not be disqualified by his quick thinking at the gates, that would have pleased favourite backers in the Lawrence given the final outcome.