Tactics critical to Sand Wave's chances at Addington
By Michael Guerin
There is nothing Southlanders like more than coming to the big smoke and beating the biggest stables but trainer Nathan Williamson says he might need some inadvertent help from his rivals to pull that off tonight.
Williamson treks north to Addington with his key assignment the $50,000 Garrards Sires’ Stakes Magnifique, a new race for those three-year-olds who haven’t yet tasted success at the highest level.
Sand Wave has done the next best thing, winning the Southern Supremacy Stakes at Group 2 level last start and the little horse with the great leg speed is a deserved favourite in the 1980m mobile even up against three rivals from the all-conquering All Stars stable.
Of course Williamson is no stranger to Addington success and his stable star Pembrook Playboy even downed Self Assured in a decent race last year so he knows what is takes to win at this level.
Tonight he says what it will take is pressure.
“I really like my little horse. He is not a star yet but he has great speed and he can win if we get the right run,” says Williamson.
“What I don’t want to see is one of the All Stars horses running straight to the front and getting an easy time because then they can pace a half (800m) in 55 seconds and we are in trouble.
“They have three in the race so I’d love to see one of the other two in the race (Invitation Only and Cantfindabettorman) get involved early and inject some speed or some pressure into the race.
“If that happens then we can win, if it doesn’t then I can’t sit back in a small field and I might have to come sit parked and that is a really hard way to win.”
The All Stars trio are all handy enough but Onedin Miki, who had a hard run when fresh last week, looks to have the most scope for improvement and gets Natalie Rasmussen back in the sulky tonight.
On a night with plenty of short priced favourites who look very hard to beat, Williamson says he is delighted to get back behind talented lower-grade trotter Harold Smith (R2, No.6).
Williamson drove the imposing trotter to win last season and he looks to have an open class motor, with a 10m handicap on paper effectively level terms as there is only one rival actually starting off the front.
“I really like the horse and think he looks a winner if he behaves himself,” says Williamson.
Michael Guerin's best three bets for tonight :
Best: Republican Party (R5, No.8): Driven cold last start because he was fresh up. Can afford to be more aggressive tonight and shoulkd be too good.
Next best: Shan Noble (R4, No.3): Flew home last start and looks back to his best. Obvious multi play.
Hot to trot: Harold Smith (R2, No.6): Comes in well tonight and needed run last week. Headed for open class.