WORLD-CLASS Victorian jockey Craig Williams has built his reputation on being the consummate professional so it's not surprising that he will leave no stone unturned in his bid to win today's $225,000 Launceston Cup on favourite Epingle.
With first prizemoney of $135,000 and a $100,000 bonus at stake, Williams will be doing his homework to ensure that the Mick Kent-trained mare gets every chance to complete the Hobart-Launceston Cup double.
``It's been a long time since I've ridden at Mowbray so I'll be watching some tapes to familiarise myself with the track,'' he said yesterday.
``I'll also walk the track when I get there.
``And, I've taken two rides earlier in the day which will help me get a feel for how it's racing.''
Williams said he would also be ``doing the form'' to see how best he can overcome Epingle's wide barrier draw.
``She raced close to the lead the other day [in the Hobart Cup] but that was from a good barrier,'' he said.
``I will study the form of her opposition and look at the track before working out what I'll try to do this time.''
One thing Williams is certain of is that if Epingle reproduces her Hobart Cup form, she will be hard to beat.
``She was very impressive - I'd say it was her career-best performance,'' the jockey said.
``As well as drawing wide in the Launceston Cup, she's goes up two kilograms but, if she holds that form, she's got to go very close again.
``I've spoken to Mick (Kent) and he said that she's a very happy horse and enjoying her time in Tasmania.''
Williams has never won a Launceston Cup - ``I think I've only had one previous ride'' - but is no stranger to success in Tasmania.
Epingle was his third Hobart Cup winner, following on from Offenbach in 2008 and Gotta Keep Cool in 2009.
He has also won the Strutt Stakes in Hobart on Tio Rossa.
The 36-year-old has ridden group 1 winners all over the world, with extended stays in England where he rode for many of the top stables, and three years in Hong Kong riding for Australian trainer David Hayes.