The much travelled Craig Williams has racked up another big win, steering Ruud Awakening to a comprehensive victory in the Karaka Million at Ellerslie.
Williams returned to the Melbourne winners' list on Saturday at his first home town meeting for the year, then flew to New Zealand to ride the Stephen Marsh-trained favourite in Sunday's race restricted to horses sold at the 2012 Karaka sale.
Sent out the dominant favourite, Ruud Awakening controlled the race and and cruised to a three-length win over Fantastic Honour.
Williams spent six weeks in Japan following the Melbourne spring carnival and took a short holiday before returning to the saddle.
He got the ride on Ruud Awakening after the owners, who include All Black legend Colin Meads, sacked Jason Waddell, worried about his weight problems last weekend.
"I've got no doubt she could measure up in Australia," Williams said.
Marsh said Ruud Awakening would compete in the Group One Diamond Sakes at Ellerslie in March before a decision on an Australian trip was made.
"The Diamond comes next and if she can dominate like she did today she could go to Australia," he said.
"She was bought as a Karaka Million horse and she was clearly the best."
It was the second win in the race for Williams who was successful a year ago on the Anthony Freedman-trained Ockham's Razor.
Freedman's 2013 hopes were dashed last week when leading contender Minaj spiked a temperature.