By Grahame Timbrell
Leading country trainer Danny Williams will head to the $50,000 Country Championship Wild Card (1280m) at Muswellbrook on Easter Sunday with Don’t Give A Damn after the horse’s uncharacteristic failure in the Goulburn heat.
Williams had originally planned to aim the horse at the Doncaster but has shelved that plan after Don’t Give A Damn could finish only 10th at Goulburn after starting the odds-on favourite.
“He is a far better horse than that but realistically we cannot continue towards the Doncaster so I would like to get him to the Country Championship final instead,” Williams said. “The only way we can do that now is to qualify him through the Wild Card.
“There are several reasons, I believe, for what happened in the Goulburn heat. He is normally led in the parade yard by the Clerk Of The Course but for one reason or another that did not happen this time.
“Then there was a long delay while they were trying to get the field loaded and he went to pieces. It took him to 50 minutes to recover after the race while he also jarred up.
“He won’t race again before Muswellbrook but will go to the paddock for a couple of days to freshen up then will trial on either the 16th or the 26th. He races well on the back of a freshen up and he does have to come back to 1280 metres.”
Williams has already qualified two horses, Kopi Luwak and Pumpkin Pie, for the Championship final after they finished first and second in the Goulburn heat but he, like most other people, had expected Don’t Give A Damn to win. The lightly raced four-year-old has won four of his only six starts including two Highway Handicaps at Randwick and Rosehill and a Benchmark 83 at Rosehill two starts back.
Williams may also start O’Lordy at Muswellbrook following her sixth in the Goulburn heat: “It wasn’t a bad run,” Williams said.
The trainer is supervising his large team under difficulties following surgery on Tuesday to repair his right shoulder which was damaged in a fall before Christmas: “It will be six months before I allowed to get back on a horse,” he said.