Premiership Picture Pretty Clear Save Vic Jockeys

The contest for the premiership in NSW appears to be over, with Brenton Avdulla enjoying, at last check, a 16-win margin over number two Tye Angland, but the top spot in Victoria is still up for grabs.

Craig Williams took the lead from Damian Lane when Williams took the first two races of the day at a mid-week Moonee Valley meeting. The win moves Williams to 49 metro winners, one ahead of Lane.

It may be some measure of the significance jockeys place on the premiership to mention that Lane, rather than stick around until the end to contest Williams, is off overseas for the nuptial observance of jockey Mark Zahra.

An apprentice by the name of Ethan Brown, apparently not invited to Zahra’s wedding, unwilling to travel to the American destination, or wanting to hang about and make a name for himself in Victoria, won on Hectopascal for Darren Weir to give Brown his 44th metro winner for the season, so he is not entirely out of the premiership picture just yet.

“It was good to get another winner, I hit a bit of a flat spot there for a while (in the premiership race),” Brown told Racing Victoria.

Meanwhile, Weir is within one win of equaling his 137 record for metro winners established last season.

It would appear as though Weir cannot be caught, unless David Hayes can make up a 52-win deficit. Part of Weir’s success is due to his horses having made over 100 more starts than Hayes’. Weir has started 886 to 776 for Hayes. From that point, the cliff is steep, as number three Mick Price has run only 281. Chris Waller is in sixth spot in Victoria and he does not even work in Victoria. Well, let us say, hardly.

Waller may be breathing easier so far as NSW is concerned, with 233 wins from 1561 starts, but James Cummings deserves mention for having fielded 169 winners from about half the starts Waller’s horses have made.

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