LEADING jockey Craig Williams is confident he can kick off 2013 with another big race winner after riding the favourite for Saturday's $2 million Magic Millions (1200m), Assail, in an exhibition gallop at Warwick Farm.
Williams, back in Australia after completing a riding stint in Japan, was aboard the Clarry Conners-trained filly as she strode out with stablemate The Last General.
Assail sat a couple of lengths off The Last General from the 600m before joining him on the home turn.
She swept past him in the straight to win the gallop by almost two lengths, running the last 600m in a slick 33.8 seconds.
Williams picked up the ride after regular jockey Peter Robl was suspended until January 19 for causing interference on Villiers Day at Rosehill last month.
"I was really happy with that," Williams said after the gallop.
"She's favourite for the Magic Millions and the way she worked I can see why.
"She's got a very smart head on her shoulders.
"Clarry knows what he's doing with this filly and it was great getting a feel of her today."
Assail won on debut over 1000m at Warwick Farm on November 10, and followed up with an impressive victory in the Magic Millions 2YO Classic (1100m) at Wyong on December 20.
On that occasion she started from the outside barrier in the 12-horse field, but had little trouble sliding across to sit outside the leader.
The Charge Forward filly then strolled to the lead at the 600m, and although tiring in the run home, had plenty in hand at the finish.
After that win, Conners said the filly was better than Mirror Mirror which he trained to win the Magic Millions in 2006.