Danny Williams has a very good stable of gallopers but will make a rare venture to Melbourne and Flemington for Derby Day this weekend where he will saddle up and cheer on stable pin up horse She Knows in the Furphy Sprint (1100m).
The daughter of Denman has been a model of consistency since day one and off the back of a pleasing effort at Caulfield in the Caulfield Sprint (1000m), the Goulburn horseman has a spring in his step and confidence that his girl can measure up on the big stage.
“I thought she was very good the other day at Caulfield,” Williams told Justhorseracing.
“First look at Caulfield, she got a touch further back than what would have been ideal but I thought she was very good in defeat.”
The trainer is taking confidence in knowing the mare pushed the winner of that race, Eduardo, all the way. A horse that was bloused in the Gilgai (1200m) by I Am Excited, who will go around as favourite on Saturday.
“Well if you crunch down the form and the numbers, I think She Knows is certainly in this race up to her ears,” He said.
“David’s filly (I Am Excited) had a weight pull on Eduardo and only just beat him while we met him at level weights at Caulfield and got beat under a length, so on that basis, I think our girl can certainly go close.
“She worked well on Tuesday, she’s run well down the straight before without luck and with luck, I think she’ll more than hold her own.
“Provided she pulls up well, she’ll back up on Oaks Day, which has always been our plan with her.”
Williams will also have a keen eye on Rosehill as he has key runners set to take their place on the weekend, starting off with progressive four year old Chewbacca in the Highway.
“He’s come back really well I think,” The trainer said.
“He’s furnished into a lovely horse and seems much more mature compared to last prep.
“He pulled up sore after Goulburn last time and had three months in the paddock which seems to have worked well for him.
“He’s had the one jump out in readiness for Saturday and while he’ll improve with the run, he’s forward enough to let them know he’s there on Saturday.”
Don’t Give A Damn has been plagued by wet tracks and not much luck in recent times, but Williams warned punters about the horse and a likely firm track.
“He pulled up well from the Kosciuszko which is why I decided to run him last time but he just didn’t handle that surface at all.
“Adam (Hyeronimus) gave him a dig to get near the speed after missing the start and unfortunately the horse just wanted to truck and that left him with nothing left for the straight.
“I’ll ask Adam to jump and let the horse find his feet up to 1500m, whether that’s by leading or sitting midfield but it won’t be lead at all costs.
“I’m worried about the dry track given his feet issues and by race nine, the track could dry right out which isn’t his go.”
Surprisingly, despite those two quality animals, Williams didn’t hesitate in nominating Volpe as the horse who he thought could bounce back to positive form.
“I think he (Volpe) is well and truly over the odds.
“Jason (Collett) said the horse didn’t handle the sticky track last start so put a line through that and go off his run prior, which was very good I thought.
“Back to 1300m is the concern, but he should get a lovely run from an inside gate and last time he raced on a dry track, he beat I Am Serious.”
Given the size of his stable, Williams has plenty runners across the weekend and he gave punters a really good push for a lightly raced son of Epaulette on Friday at Wagga over 1200m in a maiden.
“I’m a fan of Refire.
“I thought he was outstanding on debut at Moruya and should love the more spacious surroundings Wagga has to offer.
“The forecast for rain overnight would be ideal because if we do get that, I’m pretty confident he can get the job done.
“He didn’t pull up too well after the debut but a few days off and he seems in good order for Friday.”