Japanese galloper Hana’s Gold had her first serious piece of gallop, since arriving in Australia, at Royal Randwick this morning and jockey Craig Williams was very happy with the effort of the Coolmore Classic hopeful.
Hana’s Gold arrived in Australia in February and spent two weeks at the International Equine Centre at Werribee before heading to Sydney on March 3, where she is currently staying at the Randwick stables of John O’Shea.
Williams partnered Hana’s Gold in light work while she was stationed at Werribee, but he gave the talented mare her first serious hit out this morning and told TVN that he was very happy with her physical improvement ahead of her first-up run in the Coolmore Classic at Rosehill Gardens on March 22.
“I actually sat on Hana’s Gold two times at Werribee prior to coming up this morning,” Williams said.
“It was very important to be up here this morning because it was her main piece of work before she runs in the Coolmore Classic.
“She has travelled up really well and I was a lot happier with the way that she looked.
“Having better weather up here in Sydney, you can see that her coat is really starting to come on.
“She has put on a little bit more weight, which is great for her to get a little bit closer to her goals.
“Today she was fully tested, under fully pressure and I was very happy with the way that she came through the work.”
Williams has been booked to ride Hana’s Gold in the Coolmore Classic and will also partner Irish sprinter Gordon Lord Byron in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 29 and either the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) or Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) during The Championships.
The leading Melbourne jockey believes that Hana’s Gold and Gordon Lord Byron will both add plenty of interest to the 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival and is hopeful that he can get a result for the connections of both horses.
“I think the injection of The Championships and the added value of the Sydney Autumn Carnival has been great to get foreign horses out,” Williams said.
“They have two foreign raiders and I think that is testament to hard work from the authorities to try and get international flair to the authorities.
“It costs them a lot of time out of their country and it is a very expensive trip, but it is very rewarding if they are successful.”
Gordon Lord Byron is currently available at odds of $18 in T.J. Smith betting markets, while Hana’s Gold is priced at $21 for the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes.