Hemmerle on top
Williams confident of another Highway win
GOULBURN trainer Danny Williams is confident topweight Hemmerle is the horse to beat in tomorrow’s TAB Highway Handicap (1600m) at Warwick Farm.
Williams, one of the most successful trainers in Highways with 15.5 wins, believes the soft track plays to his gelding’s strengths.
“Hemmerle is the one I think they all have to beat,” Williams said.
“I’ve got a very good opinion of him and if he gets the right conditions, will be going close to winning tomorrow.”
The four-year-old son of Lucas Cranach resumed from a spell with a third behind Our Rosemaree in a Highway over 1400m on December 8.
Williams said it was the Good 3 track that day which played against his charge not the fact he went into the race without a barrier trial.
“He needs that little bit of cut out the ground,” he said.
“It was a little bit on the firm side for him last start. He felt the ground and was reluctant to stretch out.
“He may have just died on his run the last little bit but James (McDonald) was very upbeat about him. He gave him a very good report and said he just needs that little bit of cut out of the ground.
“If I had him any fitter for Rosehill other day, he may not have been sharp enough for the 1400m.”
Williams is considering giving gelding a short break after tomorrow’s race and look towards some Country Cups in the autumn.
“I think he will be very competitive races like the Wagga Cup and Albury Cup,” he said.
“I have no doubt he will get up to 2000m. He’s always shown that he wants to get over a trip, it’s just we wanted to chase the Highways first because they are worth so much money.
The only time Hemmerle has raced beyond 1400m was in a benchmark 77 over 1800m at Rosehill Gardens on June 2.
On a track which certainly favoured on pace runners, Hemmerle charged home from last in the field of 13 at 400m to finish fifth, beaten a length and three-quarters by Chatelard.
“He was marked down as a blackbooker off his sectionals that day,” Williams said.
“He was one of the few horses came home from back in the field.
“Generally, midweek form holds up pretty well in Highways and that was a Saturday class race so that holds him in good stead for this.”
While Hemmerle is the one to beat, Williams said stablemate Tiara Road shouldn’t be underestimated.
“She’s crying out for the mile and with a bit of cut in the ground, I give her an each-way chance,” he said.
“Her past couple of starts are much better than they appear on paper.
“All of her best runs have been when she’s had a bit of cushion and she just hasn’t had conditions to suit lately.”