Williams picks up Kementari ride for Makybe
CRAIG Williams will partner Kementari in his return bout with Humidor in Saturday's Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes at Flemington.
Williams replaces Glyn Schofield, who will be riding in Sydney on Saturday.
Memsie Stakes winner Humidor will be aiming for successive Makybe Diva Stakes triumphs.
Godolphin announced last week the $13 million Everest (1200m) had been taken off the table as an option for Kementari, with connections preferring to step him up in distance to 1600m in the Makybe Diva.
"He's got great form going into the race and it will be good to see him up over the mile again," James Cummings said.
"We all agreed that the horse would run very well in it (The Everest) but we just weren't keen enough as a group to be going ahead there with confidence under the conditions.
"And going to the mile seems like a nice option for the horse."
Kementari's lone Group 1 so far came in the Randwick Guineas last autumn.
This campaign he has finished second in the Missile Stakes and Memsie
and was also fourth in the Winx Stakes.
NATURE Strip's worthiness as a contender for the $13 million The Everest continues to polarise opinion despite a record-breaking McEwen Stakes victory.
No horse has ever gone faster over 1000m at The Valley and, even though Darren Weir believes the horse is capable of running out a strong 1200m, the jury is apparently split over Nature Strip's Everest credentials.
Commentating for Racing.com, Peter Moody pondered: "Did it (Nature Strip's win) fill us full of confidence going to an Everest? Massive question marks and quite a few of them."
Moody also took into account how much Mark Zahra had to use Nature Strip from the gates to avoid potential traffic jams.
Nature Strip clocked 21.01sec between the 800m-400m before fending off Houtzen by a half head.
The Australian Turf Club, one of two remaining Everest slot owners, reputedly remains keen on Nature Strip after discussions last week with owners.