Williamson to start classy team
By Jonny Turner
Exciting trotter Chinese Whisper is back in action and ready to show off his speed at Ascot Park this afternoon.
The 4yr-old has been given the all clear to resume after not pulling up 100% when he produced a below par performance at Omakau last month.
Blood tests showed Chinese Whisper was clearly not at his brilliant best for trainer-driver Nathan Williamson when handed a 12-length beating by Only One Way.
“I ran some bloods off him once we got home and he was a bit crook, so I gave him two weeks off,” Williamson said.
“I also got a lameness examination done that didn’t show anything too much wrong apart from a couple of wee areas.”
“So we got them sorted and changed his shoeing and a few different wee things.”
Chinese Whisper has had a workout against pacers to be readied for his return to racing in race 9.
That 4yr-old should be fit and ready to test his rivals, so long as today’s feature trot does not turn in to an all-out slog.
“I think he is forward enough to win, especially with the small field,” Williamson said.
“He is probably going to improve with the run, so if it came down to a real test of stamina that could be his undoing.”
“But, I think he is fit enough to be pretty hard to beat.”
Chinese Whisper starts on the 20m mark in today’s 2700m feature alongside main rivals Dipendra, Rebel Kibbybones and Jimmy Carter.
Williamson will give his exciting 3yr-old Pembrook Playboy the first start of what he hopes is an outstanding campaign in race 5.
“He has had two workouts and they were both just what I wanted for him.”
“He is in for a big campaign, he is going to do a bit of racing and a bit of tripping around if he keeps coming along the way he has been.”
Pembrook Playboy will clash with a highly talented intermediate grade field in today’s feature 2200m pace.
Drawing barrier one on the second row of the mobile, rather than how his horse might measure up, looks the biggest concern for Williamson.
“It doesn’t look a great draw on paper.”
“But from where he is at – I think he will keep improving with racing – it could suit him.”
“If he can get a crack at them he will be right there, because he is very fast.”
T Bone Rawhide will be the first of the five starters from the Williamson barn in race 3.
The 6yr-old looked a next up winner when running in to a smart maidener in Carnegie Hall in his last start at Winton.
“The one that beat him last time looks handy enough,” Williamson said.
“He put in a pretty big run, so he should be hard to beat.”
Williamson plans to be more aggressive on Triroyale Brigade in race 7 to help the pacer crack a win after going close in several of his recent starts.
“His work and everything is telling me he is so much better this year, but he is just not clinching the deal.”
“He has been a sit and sprint merchant, but if he punched through well from the second row, I might be a bit more aggressive with him to see whether that suits him a wee bit more.”
Longueval disappointed Williamson in his last start at Wyndham behind Willie Go West, who ran a sizzling mile (1609m) time of 1.54.1.
The 3yr-old should not have to go as fast today and his trainer-driver is hoping for improvement.
“I wasn’t happy with him at Wyndham, he didn’t steer all together well and he was a bit off colour for a couple of days afterwards,” Williamson said.
“But, it has been three weeks between runs and we have freshened him.”
“His work has been nice, so I am happy enough with him.”