By Glenn Davis
Trainer Ben Williams believes he has a strong claim to quinella the QTIS Two-Year-Old Handicap at Townsville’s Cluden Park on Thursday.
Williams, who trains an hour away at Charters Towers, will launch a three-pronged attack with Wicked Dancer, Our Alicia’s Lane and Me And My Drum in the 1000-metre dash.
He also will saddle up General Cheval (QTIS Three-Year-Old Maiden), Easy Weekend (Class Six Plate) and former Brisbane galloper Martial Art in the Benchmark 60 Handicap.
“I’ve got three runners in the two-year-old but it’s a bit of a stretch to think I could trifecta the race,” Williams said.
“But I think I’m a big chance of a quinella from Our Alicia’s Lane and Wicker Dancer.”
The trio clashed last start at Cluden Park with Wicked Dancer finishing second to the Lyle Wright-trained Hidden Warrant while Alicia’s Lane finished strongly for fourth in the first QTIS race of the north Queensland season.
Me And My Drum finished fifth, just over four lengths away.
“I really think Alicia’s Lane can turn the tables on Wicked Dancer this time,” Williams said.
“He’s more of a jump and run horse than Wicked Dancer.”
Williams, who has been training for about 15 years, believed Wicked Dancer should have won his debut.
“Wicked Dancer should have beaten Hidden Warrant by two or three lengths,” he said.
“He struck bad interference and was elevated to second on protest and he’ll be running home well.”
Williams has given the revamped Cluden Park his tick of approval but is a great believer in the importance of inside barriers.
“From what I’ve heard and seen of the new track it’s pretty even and fair to all runners but like all tracks barriers are important,” he said.
Williams, who worked alongside Ken “Tubby” Turner in Sydney during the halcyon days of former top sprinter Lion Hunter, also is hopeful Easy Weekend can take out the Class Six Plate.
Easy Weekend has won four of his six starts including his last start at Townsville last month.
“He’s very talented and if there’s a horse I’d love to take to Brisbane it’s him,” he said.
“I bought at a tried horse sale in Melbourne for $3,000.”
Racing Queensland webnews November 15