Sand Wave ready for Wyndham's big day
By Jonny Turner
The Wyndham Harness Racing Club are not the only ones who have been counting down to their big centennial meeting at Young Quinn Raceway today.
The Eastern Southland club are marking their big day with the running of the Centennial Handicap.
The feature event is a chance for Nathan Williamson to test Sand Wave over 3200m and it is a challenge the trainer-driver has been counting down to.
The four-year-old has only had one crack at the staying trip when running a fair race in the Group One Invercargill Cup.
But Williamson knows his pocket rocket is made for two miles.
“I have been looking forward to getting him back over 3200m because he is a good little stayer.”
“He still raced relatively well in the Invercargill Cup, he was only a length from B D Joe and Self Assured.”
“But he was a little lacklustre after having a hard run in the New Zealand Derby.”
“But after that I thought his Wairio Cup run was as good as he has ever gone.”
The four-year-old clearly wasn’t at his best in his last start at Cromwell when well handled by Franco Norton.
But all signs point to the real Sand Wave turning up on Saturday.
“I was disappointed with his Cromwell run, I think he might have been a little bit underdone but also the grass didn’t suit him,” Williamson said.
“He just flattened out a bit.”
“We gave him another trial to get ready for this week and I have been happy with him.”
“It has been tricky trying to get him ready with some of the races falling over down here but he seems to be on the right track.”
In a small field Sand Wave is currently a $2.50 second favourite, behind the John Hay trained and driven Wheels Of Fortune.
Two local lads look a big chance of making their mark on Wyndham’s big day of celebrations in Craig Ferguson and Mark Hurrell.
Ferguson lines Da Vinci up in Saturday’s Bud Baynes Memorial Southern Supremacy Heat.
Having taken on the best of his age-group, the trainer-driver can go into the three-year-old event confident in his charge.
“It is a small field and he has raced in pretty good company, so we are expecting him to go pretty good,” Ferguson said.
Mark Hurrell combines with a strong book of drives at Wyndham’s centennial celebrations.
The reinsman rates Timbimboo as his biggest winning threat.
“He has been pretty consistent of late, he hasn’t run out of the money in his last four or five starts,” Hurrell said.
“He has got a good draw to slot in and hopefully stay handy enough.”
“Hopefully he will be right there at the finish.”
Call Me Sir, Beach Day and Abby May each look genuine eachway threats for Hurrell who also combines with Robyns Playboy in the Centennial Handicap.