CHAMPION jockey Craig Williams has been confirmed as the rider for gun Queenslander Better Than Ready when he contests the $1m Group1 VRC Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 9.

The Kelly Schweida-trained 3YO burst into Newmarket calculations in the wake of his spectacular performance in Saturday’s Listed BRC Falvelon Stakes (1200m) at Eagle Farm on the weekend.

Better Than Ready’s crushing 3-lens victory comes after the son of More Than Ready had previously set a new course record at Randwick when taking out the Listed Brian Crowley Stakes (1200m) in a dazzling time of 1:08.19s to end his autumn campaign.

“I know it’s a bit of a task coming down to Melbourne so yesterday’s win just told us that he was going in the right direction and he seems to be on an upward spiral so we thought we’d give him his chance,”Schweida said.
“It didn’t look like we were going to get to the race initially. He missed a run on the Australia Day weekend when the meeting was washed out in Brisbane. Then we took him on the float to Sydney and it poured rain on the Friday night and I didn’t want to run him on a Heavy 10 with 59kg.
“It’s starting to fall into place now, but it was certainly a bit of a rocky start to the preparation.”

Better Than Ready has now won 5 of his 8 starts and close to $240,000 in stakes.

The colt is out of the Agnes World mare, Sally’s World, who is a half-sister to Testa Rossa son and stakeswinner Publishing, now at stud himself.