Williams' Timaru Cup hopes lie with Chaparella
Kylie Williams knows how to win a Timaru Cup, and she's going to have to call on all that experience to claim her fifth success in the race today.
The Christchurch-based jockey has four wins in the feature including victory last year with sensational mare Final Touch.
She did the riding that day for Balcairn trainers John and Karen Parsons who also provided her with another of her winners in Pins N Needles in 2006. The other wins came from Sapphire Belle (2005) and Aubwin (2000).
"It's a race that has treated me pretty well so it would be nice to get another win in it this year.
"Winning last year with Final Touch was pretty special because she had won at Wingatui just a couple of days before that and she's gone on to do some pretty impressive things since."
In Chaparella, she has another good chance of success. A consistent performer in high grade races this season, Williams feels the Steven Prince-trained runner might be ready to show her best today.
"She's just been a little flat in her last few races and has knocked off and wanted to look about," Williams said.
"But they have added the side winkers to her gear and are pretty happy with the way she is working in them.
"She hasn't had a whole lot of luck, I think she would have finished fourth or fifth in the Couplands Mile [in November] but Michael Walker knocked me out of it halfway down the straight.
"There isn't anything else in there that I would rather ride than her, I'll put it that way."
Winning today won't be easy however, with an open field contesting the $50,000 event.
Topweight El Chico is on the backup from bold second in Wednesday's Berkley Stakes at Wingatui, but again has been burdened with a heavy weight of 59 kilograms.
Other chances include tough southerner The Solitaire and Christchurch raider Keep The Conflict.
Also contesting the race is Chaparella's stablemate Ric O'Shea who at his best is up to this lineup.
"It's actually a really good field and there are plenty of chances," Williams said.
"I think drawing out might be a bit of a blessing for us though, she [Chaparella] likes a bit of room to move and we won't have to get involved in all that early speed."
Of her other rides, Williams is most bullish about the chances of Sparks Fly who blew the start at Ashburton on debut.
"Ignore that, she was getting hot and itchy and rubbing against the gates and just as I finally got her relaxed and they let them go she did it again.
"I had ridden her at the trials before that and she sat outside the leader and won really well, so she can jump with them.
"But I was really happy with how she went after the start at Ashburton, she really had no right to finish as close as she did."
Sparks Fly is trained at Ashburton by Snooky Cowan who has another strong chance today in Miss Kate who starts in race seven.
Williams also rides Davone Code who holds a special place in her heart as the horse who gave her win No 500 last month.
- © Fairfax NZ News