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Williams back with a winner at Caulfield
Mathew Toogood
19:57 AEST Sat Jan 26 2013

Globetrotting jockey Craig Williams wasted no time getting back into winning form on his home turf with victory in the opening race on Australia Day at Caulfield.

Making his first appearance in Melbourne since November 17, Williams arrived in time aboard three-year-old Summer Gem to overhaul favourite Octavia in the Tip Top Butchers Plate (1100m).

Since the end of the Victorian spring carnival, Williams has had a stint in Japan, rode at the Hong Kong International meeting in December, enjoyed a family holiday and also competed at the Magic Millions raceday on the Gold Coast.

He said it was great to come back with seven rides and to start on a winning note.

"I ended up getting on a really nice filly and she's won two from two now this preparation," Williams said.

"It worked out well for us.

"I had pretty good success in Japan again and Hong Kong was good, but there's nothing like being home."

Williams will be in New Zealand on Sunday to ride two-year-old Ruud Awakening in the Karaka Million.

The Mick Kent-trained Summer Gem ($5.50) was dropping back in distance from her New Year's Day win at Flemington over 1200m.

Williams was concerned mid-race when the filly was back in the field with the tempo on, but Summer Gem lengthened well after balancing up in the straight and reeled in leader and race favourite Octavia ($3) to win by half a length.

Legcut ($7.50) was a short neck away third.

Kent said the filly would step up in trip and grade at her next starts.

"We'll maybe go to the Kevin Hayes Stakes next and then either the Vanity, (Angus) Armanasco or the Kewney after that," he said said.

The Listed Kevin Hayes Stakes (1200m) is at Caulfield in two weeks.