Trainer Danny Williams admits himself that his 2011 crop of talent isn’t as strong as it has been in previous years.
His chances haven’t been aided by the string of slow and heavy tracks in the southern states and his carnival presence has been notably small.
He wasn’t even going to consider Brisbane this year however he’s using the excuse of some firmer tracks to justify a chance at getting away from his Goulburn base.
“I wasn’t planning on coming up this year as I didn’t have any class runners to warrant coming here,” Williams said.
“But after the third minus eight morning in a row I changed my mind on things and relocated the whole team up here.”
His stable will be in action at Ipswich tomorrow in front of a huge crowd about an hour south from Brisbane city.
While he no longer has a starter in the main event Ipswich Cup, he will contest the second feature, the Listed Eye Liner Stakes with How Much My Love.
It’s a tough horse to back given it can run so well one week as shown with his Wagga Town Plate win, but then back it up with something very ordinary.
His last start was a ninth in a mid-week race at Doomben over 1350m so the five-year-old is desperately in need of a bit of consistency.
“The horse has been in and out of form for the past six months and has been a bit difficult to place in races,” Williams said.
“He seems to just be coming into form now and it’s been very difficult to find the right surface for him.”
“He is a big striding horse that likes big roomy tracks and a firm surface.”
At the moment Williams has neither the firm surface or the big roomy track so he’s going to need plenty of luck in the racing pattern.
“Hopefully they will go really quick up front and he can sit back and get some room before finishing over the top of them.”
“We think he can go well, we wouldn’t have started this type of horse at Ipswich which is a tight turning track otherwise.”
Ipswich is currently rated a slow 6 but there’s every chance it will be into the dead ranges by tomorrow with clear skies once again around south-east Queensland.
The only question mark will be how much dew is around tomorrow morning with Ipswich always a few degrees colder than Eagle Farm or Doomben.
How Much My Love will also have a jockey change with Chad Schofield picking up the mount.
“We held off naming a jockey until we saw what barrier we got because if we drew poorly we probably wouldn’t have run,” Williams said.
In the end he came up with gate three so he’ll have every chance to at least find a good spot early.
It was a different story for stable mate Rambling On which was scratched from the Ipswich Cup following the barrier draw.
After coming up with 14 Williams said it wasn’t worth it for him or the connections.
“We were unlucky with the draw and the owners weren’t to keen to run if we drew wide.”
“The horse has done very well since coming up north and probably should have finished a bit closer last start at Eagle Farm.”
Williams will still have one more chance on Ipswich Cup Day though with first starter Iking in the Grange Plate two-year-old Handicap.
He had some luck to get this horse in the field after a scratching opened the door for Iking to sneak in as the first emergency.
“I was really hoping we could get a run with him having drawn so well,” Williams said.
“He is still learning and all indications are he will make a better three-year-old as he doesn’t seem to be brilliant enough at the moment to say he will make a great two-year-old.”
Iking is by Holy Roman Emperor who’s progeny has thus far failed to live up to many people’s expectations.
“The Holy Roman Emperor progeny have been a bit disappointing and I do think they will make better three-year-olds but he is out of a good staying family and we would like to give him a few runs just to get the ball rolling,” Williams said.
His stable will remain in Brisbane for the rest of the carnival, Williams keen to avoid the freezing temperatures back home for as long as he can.