Wid­di­son star chasing Gold first-up

The Sportsman Weekend - - News - MATHEW TOOGOOD

WODONGA trainer Craig Wid­di­son has sta­ble star Willi Willi ready to be­gin his lat­est cam­paign and is ex­cited to see what the geld­ing can pro­duce this sum­mer.

Willi Willi has won three of his six starts and will re­sume in to­mor­row’s $120,000 VOBIS Gold Bul­lion (1400m) at Pak­en­ham for his first start since win­ning the Sil­ver­bowl Se­ries Fi­nal (1600m) at Flem­ing­ton in July.

“It was al­ways the plan to give him a bit of a break and de­lib­er­ately miss the spring,” Wid­di­son said.

“He was still pretty im­ma­ture and had a lot to learn so in­stead of throw­ing him in the deep end we thought we’d wait and tar­get the sum­mer.

“He’s got a fairly low rat­ing so we thought we’d just try to get his rat­ing up and de­cided not rush him.”

Willi Willi made his de­but for for­mer trainer Brian Cox in Novem­ber 2016 in a Wodonga maiden won by Fuhryk.

He then won his first-up for Wid­di­son at Sandown in April.

“From the time I took him over he showed me a lot,” Wid­di­son said.

Wid­di­son had Willi Willi nom­i­nated for Sandown race last week but opted to wait an­other to give him a crack at the VOBIS Gold Bul­lion.

“I think he’ll get out to 2000 me­tres this prepa­ra­tion and I think he’ll be a pretty fair horse once he does,” he said. “He’s a pretty ex­cit­ing sort of horse. Ev­ery­thing has done so far he has done on raw abil­ity.

“The thing I like about him is he re­ally at­tacks the line.”

Beau Mertens won the Sil­ver­bowl Fi­nal on Willi Willi and re­tains the ride.

“He is prob­a­bly not re­ally well in at the weights in this sort of race,” Wid­di­son said.

“I’d imag­ine he would get back a lit­tle bit but I’d ex­pect him to work home pretty solidly. I’d be happy if he could run top-five first-up.”

Trainer Craig Wid­di­son is con­fi­dent Willi Willi will be in the fin­ish of to­mor­row’s VOBIS Gold Bul­lion.

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