Williams Team To End Feature Season On A High

19
Jul

All the signs point to co-trainers Grant and Alana Williams capping another successful feature race year in style at Belmont on Saturday.

The husband and wife team have won 20 major races in the 2018-19 season and are hungry for one more in the Listed Belmont Classic (2200m).

And with the raging hot favourite Mystery Miss and capable second-stringer, Delta Belle, they would have to rate their chances very highly.

Mystery Miss already has the runs on the board after victories in the Listed Belmont Guineas (1600m) and Listed Belmont Oaks (2000m).

Against a small field of just five rivals and with the assistance of jockey William Pike, Mystery Miss looks to have a third straight win at her mercy.

“It looks a nice race for her and we just hope for no bad luck,” Grant Williams told Tabradio.

“Hopefully we can cap a good year.”

Williams said Delta Belle warranted an opportunity at black-type level after she bolted in to win a Pinjarra maiden (2000m) by three lengths on July 11.

“She is a big strong filly, but still does a few things wrong,” Williams said.

“Last start was very good how she did it with ease.

“It probably booked a place in this to see if we could get black type.”

Mystery Miss and Delta Belle, who will be ridden by Chris Parnham, hold star power for the Williams stable, but the support cast cannot be dismissed.

Cryptic Wonder can set the tone in the opening race: a 1300m event for two-year-olds.

The son of My Admiration returns for his second career start after a smart win on debut over 1200m a fortnight ago.

Drawn in barrier four for Pike, Williams believes he will be hard to beat again.

“The race looks stronger than what he faced first-up, but we were very happy with his performance,” Williams said.

“The distance is going to suit better and I’m looking forward to him.”

Despite partnering Sugar Cain in successive Belmont wins, Pike has given punters a lead by opting to stick with Zaratite in the Quayclean Handicap (2000m).

Pike’s booking and Zaratite’s last-start win at Pinjarra, where he welcomed a step-up to 2000m, has him holding market sway over his stable mate.

Zaratite drops 3.5kg to 55kg for Pike and will jump from barrier one. Sugar Cain has drawn gate seven and carries 52kg for apprentice, Jade McNaught.

According to Williams, Sugar Cain can upset her more fancied stable mate.

“Winning form is good form and she  definitely has to be a chance.” Williams said.

“It’s her hardest test to date, but the weight relief is a definite advantage for her.

“Her last two starts have been very good and her last run career-best.

“Whether she can knock over Willie and Zaratite will be up to Jade.”

Zaratite ($2.10) and Sugar Cain ($4.60) sit one-two in TAB betting.

Julio Santarelli
www.rwwa.com.au