Camp hoping Springbank Lachie can bounce back


Team Williamson has been somewhat mystified by the form of Springbank Lachie since he won the 2YO Trotting Stakes on debut last April, but they’re hopeful Sunday’s Neumann Tyres Bandag Hambletonian Classic will show they’re now heading in the right direction.

The Majestic Son gelding only had three races as a juvenile and went on to finish second in the Sales race and fifth at the Jewels, but he was beaten by wide margins on both occasions and clearly wasn’t racing as well.

And he was a genuine disappointment when resuming in the Orari Challenge Stakes three weeks ago, dropping away to 10th, some 14 lengths from Valloria and stablemate Majestic Man.

There was a time last season when the Williamsons were loathe to say whether Majestic Man or Springbank Lachie was the better horse and not a lot has actually changed in that respect, except the latter continues to be a head-scratcher.

Matty Williamson has been Springbank Lachie’s driver much of the time and from the pole over a mile at Ashburton, he knows they have the opportunity to turn things around and there won’t be any excuses.

“His health hadn’t been the best but he had been working real well and we were expecting good things at Orari,” said Williamson.

“But he definitely wasn’t on his game for whatever reason, so dad (Phil) freshened him up and has tried some different things.

“Like everyone else we’ll be a lot wiser after Sunday but we’re expecting him to bounce back sooner rather than later, because he is a really nice horse.”

Springbank Lachie was racing on the grass for the first time at Orari and that may have been a factor for a horse whose greatest asset appears to be his high speed, although Williamson noted he was working on the grass at Cromwell for several weeks while they were away on their working holiday over Christmas and that gave no cause for concern.

Brad Williamson sticks with Majestic Man on Sunday and he will run one of the favourites even from the second line, while Jonny Cox takes the reins on the Williamsons’ third runner and third Majestic Son gelding in Majestic Connies.

Matthew drove the latter when he easily won his last start at Wyndham a few weeks ago but he has opted for Springbank Lachie for the Group 3 feature.

Valloria, Stress Factor, Show Gait, Renezmae, BJ Lindenny, Luby Lou and Sundees Son are also very much winning chances as well in what is certain to be a wide-open betting affair.

The Nevele R Fillies Heat earlier in the day also has an even looking line-up with no stars present and Williamson fancies his chances of figuring in that finish as well with Sweet Mary.

He was much happier with the daughter of Always A Virgin when she fought out third place with Feel The Money in the Sales race last week and that race should prove a pretty good formguide to this one.

Williamson also drives last start winner Articulight at Ashburton but he is not so confident about that one. 

“He has been a big disappointment really and while he got things right last time, you wouldn’t trust him to run two races the same.”

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