When Craig Williams wants to escape, he goes to the movies.
With suspension ruling him out of the penultimate Melbourne metropolitan meeting of the the season at Sandown on Wednesday, the premiership leading jockey did just that.
This time he emerged to mixed news, but better than his previous experience on Melbourne Cup day in 2011.
That day Williams came out of the theatre to learn Dunaden had won the Cup, a horse he was to ride until suspension ruled him out.
On Wednesday, Williams took two of his children to the movies before learning two jockeys had been injured in a fall at Sandown.
The good news was Patrick Keane and Jake Baylis escaped serious injury and that Williams had maintained his three-win lead in the Melbourne jockeys’ premiership.
“The movie was a lot better than the last time I went to hide,” Williams said.
“I spoke to my wife after it and she told me two jockeys fell and it looked pretty nasty, so that was a real worry.
“But there was no head injuries, no spine injuries and they were conscious and that was the most important news to hear.
“She also told me that Dwayne went winless and that none of my horses had won either.”
Williams is favourite to win his fifth title and said the competition with Dunn and other leading jockeys has brought out his best.
“It has made me be on my toes and perform at a great level,” he said.
“You have a look at the calibre of jockey we have not only here in Victoria, but Australia.
“If you have to think about a decision in a race, by the time you do it, it’s nearly too late.”
Williams has a full book of nine rides on Saturday including early favourites Turbo Street and Bondeiger, the well-backed Carterista and Charmed Harmony in the day’s feature, the Group Three Bletchingly Stakes.