Matthew Williams will attempt to do his bit to maintain local pride in the face of the annual invasion at the Warrnambool May carnival.
Melbourne’s biggest stables will send teams to the three-day carnival but Williams says it is important for the Warrnambool trainers to keep producing their share of winners.
Williams said the competition grew tougher every year as visiting stables sent a better class of horse to Warrnambool.
“We’ll be doing our best to beat the visitors but it’s a very tough carnival to do well at,” Williams said.
“Every year it seems to get stronger and stronger.”
Williams says his charge Already Leica can provide a home win in Tuesday’s VOBIS Gold Strike (1000m).
This year’s edition of the VOBIS Gold Strike has attracted a small field of eight runners, which surprised Williams.
However, the trainer says the lower numbers help Already Leica’s cause, especially when the Ready’s Image filly presses forward to find a position early in the $70,000 contest.
“While there’s three or four coming in with a little bit of form, it’s probably not as strong as last year,” Williams said.
“She should jump and sit outside the leader hopefully, she’s pretty quick out of the gates.
“We’ll be riding her to be very positive anyway. She’s got a good chance in this.”
Imported galloper Old Bill will attempt to give Williams the perfect start to the 2014 carnival in the Callaghan Motors Maiden Hurdle.
Formerly trained by Chris Waller, Old Bill has been safely held in his past two hurdle starts at Warrnambool and Hamilton but the trainer said the seven-year-old would enjoy a fast pace on Tuesday.
“He has got to be held up and just timed right,” Williams said.
“Hopefully we can ride him midfield and get the right run.”
Top local jumps jockey Brad McLean will ride Old Bill while Dean Yendall will partner Already Leica.