Goulburn trainer Danny Williams is “over the moon” about his three runners in the $500,000 Country Championship Final at Randwick.
The popular trainer has joint-favourite Don’t Give A Damn, promising mare Pumpkin Pie and rising gelding Acquittal in the 1400m-race on the first day of The Championships on Saturday.
“I’m over the moon. He (Don’t Give A Damn) is looking fantastic,” Williams told AAP.
The four-year-old with five wins from seven starts had been battling a foot issue, but won the wild card heat on Sunday at Muswellbrook and Williams said the gelding had pulled up well.
“We haven’t looked back since last Sunday. He looks better and he’s put weight on”.
The holiday traffic sent a slight scare through the Williams camp on Monday when they were returning to Goulburn.
“We left at about 10 in the morning and after a few kilometres we were just stuck in traffic,” Williams said.
With the mercury hitting 36 degrees, Williams put in a call to friend Donny Robb who said it would be about three hours just to get to Sydney.
“He said we should just stay at his place at Wyong and we ended up leaving there at about three the next morning”.
While Don’t Give A Damn goes into the race as the TAB’s $4.20 equal favourite with Suncraze, Pumpkin Pie looms as a threat, but Williams said Acquittal might be a bit underdone.
“She (Pumpkin Pie) is motoring on. She looks spot-on,” he said.
Acquittal caused a minor scare when he lost a plate in a jump-out on Wednesday and has had synthetic hoof filler applied where a minor section of the hoof was removed.
Williams said he had hoped to have the promising Kopi Luwak lining up in the race.
“It would have meant a lot to win with him, but it’s just an honour to be there at all. It would mean a lot,” he said.
Kopi Luwak is the horse who left Williams battling for his life three years ago when he suffered a broken pelvis and internal bleeding when the horse threw him during track work.