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Hayes Sacks Stable Jockey Williams
In Australia, leading trainer David Hayes said he "felt compelled to sack stable rider Craig Williams because he had lost confidence in the 4-time premiership-winning rider," reported The Sydney Morning Herald. Hayes (who told Williams on Sunday that his services were no longer required after 4 years as top stable rider) said the decision to axe Williams, 32, was his alone, explaining: "About 12 months ago I got a lot of owner pressure about Craig & his position with the stable, but I resisted. This time, however, there was no owner pressure at all. It was just me. I'd just lost a bit of confidence in him. It's a bit like a footballer. As a horse trainer, you can't afford to lose confidence, so I had to act. It was not just one thing or another. There were a few rides that I didn't think were his best; but in the end, I thought it was time to move on. I'm sure Craig will kick on as a freelance rider & the change will probably be good for him as well." Williams commented: "It's not too bad. I've still got my health & everything's going really well. I guess results determine a lot of things. I've been lucky enough to have a great 4 years with him (Hayes) & we move on from there. David's the boss & basically he made that decision. I can't complain. David's been very fair to me."