Wil­liams still tall in the sad­dle

Daily Nation (Barbados) - - Front Page -

TEENAGED Bar­ba­dian jockey Rey Wil­liams con­tin­ues to ride high in the sad­dle and make quick strides to the top among the greats in the Cana­dian horse rac­ing arena.

This year, the 2017 Sov­er­eign Award win­ner has landed 22 wins, 27 sec­onds and 18 thirds, while top­ping the Red Di­a­mond Stakes and two of the seven stakes races in the Al­berta Fall Clas­sic.

Last year, Wil­liams had 41 wins, 51 sec­onds and 45 thirds in 261 starts af­ter los­ing his ap­pren­tice­ship and start­ing out as a full-fledged jockey on May 5.

The 19-year-old Flagstaff, St Michael res­i­dent also topped the class, winning the Al­berta Oaks and the Red Di­a­mond Ex­press, as well as cap­tur­ing ti­tles at the Al­berta “A” Cir­cuit, and other stakes races through­out 2017.

“It’s been a bit tougher ob­vi­ously los­ing the ap­pren­tice­ship, so now I have to take full weight just like ev­ery­one else.

“Still, it’s been a fairly de­cent year for me, be­cause as a jour­ney and on the first year it’s al­ways re­ally hard to ad­just,” he told NA­TION SPORT in an in­ter­view from Canada

“So far, it’s been amaz­ing. Even with a month left, it has been a good year as this is my first year with­out my claim,” he added while ex­plain­ing that the first 60 races are done with a claim, while the rest are full weight.

De­spite not hav­ing the ap­pren­tice­ship, he earned CAN$262 128, while last year he ac­cu­mu­lated CAN$471 415.

A re­cent triple win was para­mount to pro­pel­ling Wil­liams to his dream of cap­tur­ing this year’s Jockey Of The Year award af­ter winning three races.

He se­cured a dou­ble last Satur­day af­ter winning the sec­ond race on Solon’s Warn­ing at 2-1 by 11 lengths, go­ing 1-1/16 miles. Wil­liams also won Race 7 aboard Siberian Bear at 5-1 go­ing six fur­longs.

The fol­low­ing day, he again won Race 7 on Kintsugi Kat at 11-1 go­ing at 6-1/2 fur­longs. Both events were held at Cen­tury Downs in Cal­gary. Presently, Wil­liams stands in fourth place with eight wins be­hind fel­low Bar­ba­dian jockey and reign­ing North­lands Park cham­pion Rico Wal­cott, who is cur­rently in third place with ten wins. Ja­maican Shama­ree Muir and Benezue­lan Rigo Sarmiento are on 11 wins each.

“It’s been great. It re­ally is a bless­ing to be where I am right now and still be­ing suc­cess­ful. I just al­ways thank God so much for be­ing with me. It’s also a good ex­pe­ri­ence to be rid­ing with such tal­ented jock­eys, and still be able to come out on top.

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