Mach Quillan favoured in today's Roxburgh Cup

By Jonny Turner

Brad Williamson has no plans to change his tactics behind Mach Quillan in today’s Roxburgh Cup.

The Gore pacer comes into Roxburgh’s biggest race after producing a bold recent second placing in his home-town Cup, only beaten by the fast-finishing Franco Norton.

Mach Quillan takes on a somewhat similar line up minus Franco Norton, who was scratched earlier this week.

After leading up and running a strong second on the roomy Gore track, Mach Quillan should be even harder to catch if he finds the top around the much tighter Roxburgh circuit.

Though the Matt Brinsdon trained pacer starts from a 10m handicap, he has just two horses in front of him on the front line and only one other beside him on the same mark.

That means finding the front could be a realistic option for Williamson who thinks the horse is a much bigger force when he can set his own terms.

“Often when he has been driven for one run he has been very disappointing without any real explanation,” the reinsman said.

“Since I started driving him more aggressively and often leading on the horse, he has started winning a few more races and going a hell of a lot better.”

“We won’t change the tactics, if he steps well, we will put him in the race.”

Williamson was thrilled with Mach Quillan’s Gore Cup run, which was his first race since November.

Given that, punters should see a fitter version of the horse today.

“I thought it was a super run, he was fresh up – he hadn’t raced for a while.”

“He stepped and led a merry chase and the winner was too good for him on the day.”

“But it was a very credible second.”

Williamson also combines with the Alister Black trained Lou’s Dream, who looks a serious winning threat in his debut in race 5.

The reinsman starts two runners from his own stable at Roxburgh with Kerryn Tomlinson to take the reins behind Aint No Angel.

The mare comes into race 7 with an unusual form reference after winning the Hawea Cup at the recent Hawea picnic races.

Williamson hopes that bodes well for the mare when she steps out at today’s much more official races.

“The Hawea Cup is not an easy race to win but she managed to do it.”

“She has been disappointing in her last couple of starts, but we have increased her workload a lot and she appears to be working a lot better.”

“I think she will go a good race at Roxburgh and turn it around into her old form.”

Five O’Clock Gerry looks a big winning chance in today’s opener provided he can handle the sometimes-tricky barrier 1 draw in his standing start assignment, which Williamson is hopeful he can.

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