Robert Smerdon is thankful Craig Williams is back riding in Melbourne this week after a successful working holiday riding on contract in Japan. Williams will be in action at Caulfield on Saturday.

Smerdon has booked him to ride his promising three-year-old filly Empress O’Reilly in the Group 3 $150,000 Quezette Stakes (1100m).

“You would think Craig should suit her. She was luckless at the Valley,” Smerdon told TVN’s Bruce Clark.

Empress O’Reilly has only raced twice for an impressive win on debut at Caulfield on Boxing Day last year, beating her now well performed stablemate, Fontein Ruby.

“She surprised us that day. I didn’t think she was ready but she got over the top of them,” Smerdon said.

The daughter of champion New Zealand sire O’Reilly then went to Moonee Valley where she ran sixth of 11 behind Down The Hatch over 1000-metres on August 2.

“She should run well.

"I think she’s got the talent to run at this level,” he said.