The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Warwick Farm trainer Guy Walter will take a chance with his in-form five-year-old Willy Jimmy this weekend, backing the last-start Eagle Farm winner up for a shot at back-to-back Brisbane black-types in the Tattersall’s Mile.
One of eight quality features on Saturday’s Eagle Farm race programme, this year’s $100,000 Listed Tattersall’s Mile (1600m) is shaping up as a strong showdown with a number of livewire chances in the line-up.
Early favourite is Roger James’ Kiwi galloper Firebolt, the Corey Brown-mount drawn ideally in gate two and fresh after a five week break before which they won the Group 3 Lord Mayor’s Cup (1615m) at Doomben on May 21.
Another top fancy in this year’s Tattersall’s Mile field is Dehere gelding Willy Jimmy, the horse with some work to do from their wide barrier 13 of 18 draw.
A winner of seven of their 25 starts to date, including the 2010 Goulburn Cup, Will Jimmy has a very imposing record over the mile.
The horse has nine times raced over the Tatt’s Mile distance of 1600 metres, their efforts producing five wins, three seconds and an unlucky sixth.
After running a close second to Dysphonia in the Listed Scone Cup (1600m) last month, Walter bought Willy Jimmy to Queensland to target some end-of-winter features.
“I thought it was a terrific run in the Scone Cup and he was very unlucky,” Walter said.
In their first ever run in Brisbane the miler didn’t disappoint, Willy Jimmy scoring a one and a quarter length victory over one of this Saturday’s Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara hopefuls St Germaine in the Listed Strawberry Road Handicap (1600m) at Eagle Farm on June 11 – Stradbroke Handicap Day.
Showing his liking for the roomy Eagle Farm track, Walter was impressed enough with the win to go against Willy Jimmy’s usual campaign spacing and will saddle him up this Saturday giving the galloper just two weeks between runs.
“He’s raced better that way (the Queensland way of racing),” Walter said.
“He’s very much a big track horse which is why Eagle Farm suits him.
“We’re taking a bit of a risk here cause he’s only getting two weeks.
“He has backed up and won before, one example is the Goulbourn Cup.
“He can do it but as a rule he is at his best when his runs are spaced.”
Another negative for Willy Jimmy is their wide barrier 13 draw, regular rider Rod Quinn to take the mount for the sixth time on the trot.
“He’s drawn a much worse gate tomorrow then he did last start (five),” Walter admitted.
“Rodney (Quinn) knows the horse well…it depends how the race is run but he’ll have to ride him quietly out of the gates.
“And as always you need a lot of luck with those gates.”
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