WARRNAMBOOL trainer Matthew Williams is looking to cap an unforgettable week with a win in a lucrative race at today’s Bendigo Cup meeting.
Williams, who became a father for the first time last Thursday when partner Ultra gave birth to their daughter Jessica Mary, saddles up talented mare Forever Here in the $50,000 1400-metre handicap.
“It would be nice to win, it would pay for a few more nappies,” Williams joked yesterday.
He said that while mother and daughter were doing well, he hoped for a bit more sleep last night before the trek to Bendigo today.
Williams is upbeat about Forever Here’s chances with today’s run to determine what race she tackles at Flemington on Melbourne Cup day next Tuesday.
He urged supporters to disregard her last start 11th at Warrnambool on October 16.
“It’s a nice little race for her,” he said.
“Originally I thought it might have been a bit too hot for us after the nominations but since the acceptances it looks ok.
“She has drawn well. She is down in the weights and back to 1400.
“Nothing went right for her at Warrnambool when she missed the start,” he said.
“It was a good field. She missed the kick and got back and was chasing all the way.”
Today jockey Dean Yendall has the ride, being reunited with the mare after taking her to three consecutive wins last December and January. He said the usually good starter had drawn gate three and he expected her to find a good position in the running.
“All this preparation I have been really happy with her. She has definitely improved.”
Williams said today’s run would shape her Melbourne Cup carnival plans.
Her aim had been to qualify for the $200,000 group 3 1400-metre mares race on Cup day.
But he predicted she would need to win today and pull up well to get a start in the listed 1400-metre plate next Tuesday or in the $200,000 group 3 1400-metre stakes — a race he has previously won.
Depending on today’s performance, the Sandown Classic could also be in the plans.
Yangery’s Jarrod McLean is also represented at Bendigo today with Muchos Respectos in a benchmark 78 handicap over 1100 metres.
Colac trainer Bill Cerchi will saddle up Diamonds at Noon in the listed $250,000 Bendigo Cup (2450m).