By Jonny Turner
All Stars trotter Kings Landing will need to call on his class when steps out for the first time this season at Addington on Friday night.
Each of his rivals will have a significant race fitness edge over the 5yr-old, when he starts for in a competitive 1980m feature trot.
Kings Landing has looked to have thrived since his last start at the Harness Jewels when winning two trials and a workout ahead of his return from a decent winter spell.
But, driver Tim Williams is weary that nothing quite gets a horse ready to take on a smart field like the benefit of race fitness.
“His class is going to take him a wee way, but it is definitely not going to be easy taking on some of those seasoned horses first up.”
“That would be the only concern.”
“The way the draws have fallen, being preferential, that is in his favour.”
“It won’t be easy, but if he got the right run and the race unfolded to suit, him he is definitely good enough.”
The three horses drawn on the outside of the front line bring both class and race fitness to Friday night’s race.
Pres The Belle will be looking to replicate the emphatic win she produced under the same conditions as her 1980m mobile victory in her first run after the Interdominions at Addington, last month.
Destiny Jones drops massively in grade after producing a sound fifth in the group 1 National Trot at Alexandra Park in her last start.
The 8yr-old has a slight draw advantage in barrier 7 over both Pres The Belle (8) and Great Things Happen (9).
Great Things Happen should relish a return to mobile racing despite his draw.
The 8yr-old was forced to chase from massive 60m handicaps in his two starts at the recent Nelson meeting.
Tailored Elegance is in a similar position to Kings Landing – starting fresh up against race-hardened opposition in race 2 with Williams in the sulky.
Though, it is not the class of her opposition that is the main concern ahead of her first start as a 3yr-old.
It is how she will be able to negotiate a capacity field from barrier 7.
“She has come back well, but being drawn out a little bit wide in a full field probably won’t make things easy,” Williams said.
“She is another one that her class should take her a long way in there.”
“She generally has good manners, so there is no reason why she shouldn’t go a really good race.”
Williams will also combine with another fresh All Stars runner at Addington on Friday night in race 4.
First starter Picture Me faces a similar assignment to his stablemate Tailored Elegance when he starts from barrier 12.
“He is a little bit the same as Tailored Elegance – he is in a full field and has a tricky enough draw,” Williams said.
“He is going to need the right suck in to it or to make a move.”
“It is just going to depend on how the race is run from that draw.”
“On his trials, he keeps putting his hand up, so on that he is a good chance.”
Picture Me has won two Rangiora trials ahead of his debut and beat rival Chubby Checker in the latest of those.
Williams has a standout book of drives at Friday night’s Addington meeting that includes strong eachway chances Cheezel (race 5) and Szybka Lane (race 8).
The reinsman also combines with Lets Hustle (race 3), Red Hot Poker (race 9) and Peraki Reactor (race 10).