Williams Focused On Country Championships For Bandi’s Boy

By Ray Hickson

Trainer Danny Williams believes Bandi’s Boy is his best chance in several years to be a player in the Newhaven Park Country Championships but when it comes to his first-up assignment at Randwick on Saturday he warns he has the big picture in mind.

Trainer Danny Williams

The four-year-old hasn’t raced since a game third in the Barn Dance (1300m) behind I’ve Been Tryin’ back on November 7 and Williams said the Precise Air Handicap (1200m) is a starting point but an important one for the preparation.

Williams is confident while Bandi’s Boy has only won two races the fact his city rating is already 74 means he should comfortably make the field for the $150,000 South East Country Championships at Moruya on March 3 and is planning accordingly.

“We’ve had a program set out for him, he’ll have three runs going into the Country Championships,’’ Williams said.

“He’s going to have a lot of improvement ahead of him, albeit he wasn’t out a long time.

“I said to the owner it’s not a matter of placing him where he can win this preparation, it’s a matter of making sure he’s had the right preparation going into the qualifying race.

“If he wins along the way good and well because he would still only be a Class 3 horse if he won one race.

“So he’s going to get in at the right weight and you’ve got to have all that in mind when you’re heading for these restricted races with set weights.”

Williams’ best result in the Country Championships Final to date came in 2018 when Don’t Give A Damn ran second behind Victorem.

Bandi’s Boy is on the third line of early betting with TAB in the $1 million Newhaven Park Country Championships Final at $11 so there is a lot expected of the lightly raced four-year-old who stamped his potential at his second start when beating Zougotcha.

With just one trial last week under his belt leading into Randwick, Williams said he can’t expect Bandi’s Boy, $10 with TAB on Wednesday, to turn up and win but does expect to show he’s on target.

“We’ve removed all the gear to try and get him to settle,’’ he said.

“The plan would be to ride him a bit more conservative and let him get back and find the line with the long term outcome to get the 1400m strong.

“He’s going to have to go 1425m at Moruya but I don’t think that will be an issue.

“I’m expecting him to run a bold race but I’m not confident of him being ready to win at this stage.”

The Goulburn trainer said the plan to get to Moruya will see Bandi’s Boy return to Randwick in two weeks then step to 1300m at Rosehill another two weeks later.

While the gelding is the top seed among his Country Championships hopes, Williams said both Atmospheric Rock and Stormy Witness will be given their chance to make the field.

Atmospheric Rock will kick off in the TAB Highway (1200m) if he gains a start, as third emergency, with his home track meeting on Tuesday a back-up plan.

Bandi’s Boy and Atmospheric Rock trial at Moruya on January 19

He’s only won the one race but has placed in three Highways and was a close fourth in a 1200m Randwick Highway back in September.

“He needs to elevate his rating. I think he’s going as good as I’ve had him but he’s a funny horse,’’ Williams said.

“Looking at his work this morning, he worked him over a shorter distance and let him run up, I’m frightened he might be too dour for the 1200m and already looking for the 1400m.”

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