Warrnambool clerk of course Janet Williams works at Flemington on Oaks Day

Big day: Janet Williams working at Flemington on Oaks Day is pictured here with son Michael. Picture: Colin Bull
Big day: Janet Williams working at Flemington on Oaks Day is pictured here with son Michael. Picture: Colin Bull

LONG serving Warrnambool clerk-of-the-course Janet Williams broke new ground for her family on Thursday, working at the big Oaks Day meeting at Flemington.

Racing Victoria and the Victoria Racing Club randomly selected Williams from 15 other female clerks-of-the-course to perform duties at the meeting.

"It's a huge thrill to have been selected," the mother of four told The Standard.

"I'm grateful to Racing Victoria and the Victoria Racing Club.

"I've been a clerk-of-the-course for more than 30 years and this is my career highlight. I've worked at a lot of Warrnambool May carnivals and they have been great but this is an unbelievable experience to work at one of the biggest racing carnivals in the world."

Williams, the daughter of veteran local clerk of course Leo Dwyer and sister to other clerks Anne McGrath and Eddie Dwyer, said it was the first time a member of her family had worked at Flemington.

"I've got one up on dad, Anne and Eddie," she said.

"I must admit I was pretty nervous before the races but the other clerks-of-course made me really welcome.

"I felt at home once I saw Liam O'Keeffe who used to be at Warrnambool and is now the racecourse manager at Flemington and I knew a few of the jockeys so I was pretty comfortable.

"I rode trackwork at Flemington when I was 18 years old and I'm 52 now and the place has changed so much in that time. It's an amazing racecourse."

RV raceday services manager Carl Hufer said Williams was joined by a female barrier attendant and clerk of scales for the third day of the four day carnival known as ladies day.

Williams will have her feet back on the ground next Tuesday when she works at the Hamilton race meeting.

This story Janet rides high on racing's biggest stage first appeared on The Standard.