Escobar aiming for two from two

By Jonny Turner

Punters shouldn’t read too much into which horse Nathan Williamson is driving when three of his stable clash in an even affair at Winton on Sunday.

Williamson returns from Canterbury following the New Zealand Cup Carnival to line up Escobar, Foveaux Strait and Who’s Bettor in race 8, as well as Amass in race 2.

The trainer drives Who’s Bettor but she doesn’t hold the number 1 seed among his runners in an intriguing mile contest.

Starting fresh up and drawing one the second row both look big factors against the mare.

Instead, Williamson has opted for Escobar as his stable’s best hope, though with one reservation.

“He has only had two quiet workouts and I expect him to improve with racing but he is a pretty talented horse,” Williamson said.

“If it was 2400m I would be quite confident because from the draw (8) he could work into it.”

“But over a mile it won’t be as easy, but hopefully he can get into it at some stage.”

If Escobar and driver Oliver Kite get too far off the pace, it might be Foveaux Strait that is ready to pounce.

Drawn barrier 2 on the second row for driver Rory McIlwrick, the Williamson trained four-year-old starts second up on the back of a good third at Ascot Park.

“He ran well in his last start and he has taken benefit from that run, so he is going to be a nice chance.”

Like Who’s Bettor, Amass has drawn barrier 1 on the second row for the Williamson barn, in race 2.

The three-year-old takes on star trialist Duke Of Scotland who looks hard to beat in his debut.

Williamson combines with several big winning chances from other stables on Sunday.

Two horses from the Brian Norman barn in Port Pegasus (race 4) and Whata Razzle Dazzle (race 5) look big winning threats.

“Port Pegasus has to be right in it because he is very consistent and it looks a nice race for Whata Razzle Dazzle.”

“Both of Brian’s look good chances.”

Major Dolmio in race 1 also looks a serious win chance for Williamson.

The Lyndon Bond trained pacer gets a royal chance to win a race on the back of a tidy fourth in a much stronger Canterbury field.

Velocity Jet (race 7) and Stunin Star (race 6) look two of the rougher chances among Williamson’s book.

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