Owners will be back at the races at Warrnambool this Sunday but in limited numbers.
The meeting, which features the Lafferty Hurdle and Thackeray Steeplechase, will have strict protocols in place because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Owners will have to register with the Warrnambool Racing Club before the race day and they must provide details on the day for the purpose of contact tracing.
There will be a time limit on attendance, with owners required to depart the course following the race in which their final runner is engaged.
Owners will be segregated from racing participants, meaning they won’t have access to the mounting yard and stabling area.
WRC chief executive officer Tom O’Connor said early this week that plans for owners were still being finalised.
“We’re thinking of having a maximum of 20 owners for each race and they must leave the track after their horse runs to allow other owners in for the next race.
“We’re expecting there’ll be plenty of owners who’ll want to take up the opportunity to see their horses run again.”
“Fever” costs Williams
Popular Warrnambool horseman Luke Williams admits he will have to adjust his riding style after being suspended and fined over his winning ride on Nahanni at Casterton last Saturday.
Williams pleaded guilty to using his whip nine times prior to the 100-metre mark, four more than permitted.
He was banned from July 5 for one calendar month and fined $750. While he pleaded guilty, his poor record counted against him, as did the fact that Nahanni won the race — a highweight flat race at 0-58 level over 2000 metres.
“It was my first day back riding for three months and I wasn’t fit enough,” Williams said.
“The stewards had no option. I’ve got a poor record on that front but I believe if I get fitter that will help solve the issue.
“I’ve had five charges for the same thing in the past year and four of them have won.
“I suppose I suffer with a bit of white-line fever because I’m out there doing my best for the owners and trainers that I’m riding for.”
Trainer Shayne Fisher said Nahani might back up in a maiden hurdle at Warrnambool this Sunday.
This Boy has got it
Veteran Warrnambool trainer Merv McKenzie believes Boy From The Bool has plenty of upside after the three-year-old won a 1400-metre maiden at Ballarat last Sunday.
Having his fifth start, Boy From The Bool ($13) defeated Faithful Diamond and Quattro Gatton in the $31,000 race.
McKenzie said Boy From The Bool had proved a handful during his short career.
“I’ve got to give a lot of credit to Gina McDonald, who rides Boy From The Bool in all his trackwork,” he said.
“Gina has done a marvellous job. Boy From The Bool was a headstrong horse at the start but Gina has got him going.
“He’s also not a good traveller in the float but he’s getting better. I think with a bit of time he could develop into a handy type of horse.”
Boy From The Bool took his stake earnings to $22,791 with the victory.
Ryan eyes skies
Patrick Ryan will keep a close watch on the weather in the lead-up to Sunday’s big jumps meeting at his home track.
The Warrnambool trainer saddled up Woodsman ($3.70) for an impressive victory in a restricted hurdle at Casterton last Saturday with local jumps jockey Ronan Short aboard, and is planning to back him up in Sunday’s Lafferty Hurdle.
But Ryan says the eight-year-old is not suited to heavy tracks.
“It was a strong win at Casterton,” Ryan said.
“The track was in the soft range and he appreciates those conditions.
“It was great to reward Ronan with a win. He works very hard and followed the instructions to the letter.”
Woodsman has won three of his six jumps starts.
• Jaywick: Made ground late in a maiden over 1200 metres at Bordertown last Sunday. He’s had three starts and is ready to break his maiden status over 1400 metres plus.