Afer a couple of weeks he would rather forget, Goulburn trainer Danny Williams hopes Rent A Rock can give him something to remember in the Spring Champion Stakes at Randwick.
Williams lost two of his three Kosciuszko hopes when Floki died after contracting colitis and stakes performer She Knows was retired after suffering a suspensory injury in a race at Caulfield.
The trainer now relies on Don’t Give A Damn in the $1.3 million race on Saturday week with the gelding winning a trial at Goulburn on Tuesday.
Before the rich race for country-trained horses, Rent A Rock will take his place in Saturday’s Group One Spring Champion (2000m).
A four-start maiden, Rent A Rock has the credentials to get over ground, something Williams is relying on to help him as he steps up in grade.
“He is by a Melbourne Cup winner Fiorente, out of a Fastnet Rock mare Rock Of Ages who won up to 2000 metres so one thing I’m sure he’ll do is stay,” Williams said.
“Mentally the penny hasn’t dropped yet and there are horses in the race more seasoned than him.
“But with maturing two and three-year-olds, I think you have to try them in these races if you think they can stay.
“These races are there and they can sometimes do things at this age.
“If he happened to go really well then we would consider the Victoria Derby.”
The market indicates the top four in saddlecloth order are the only chances with Shadow Hero the odds-on favourite at $1.70 with Castelvecchio ($4.80), Quick Thinker ($6) and Just Thinkin’ ($8) the only runners under double figures.
“I know what the market says but anything can happen with these young horses,” Williams said.
The trainer has not had many Group One runners with his best results Normal Practice’s third in the 1999 Newmarket Handicap behind Isca and Dantelah and Cape Breton’s second to Ice Chariot in the 2006 Queensland Derby.
Williams is not naturally superstitious but is trying to figure out the omens surrounding the latest addition to his stable.
“A three-legged black cat walked in here a few weeks ago and she’s since had six babies,” he said.
“So now we have all these black cats.”
Folklore has they are unlucky in parts of Europe and lucky in others.
Williams is pinning his faith in the latter.