By Tony Megahey
Accomplished western districts trainer Gayna Williams has enjoyed city success and numerous regional feature wins, however, for Scone’s TAB meeting on Tuesday the opposition has never been tougher.
The Kris Lees juggernaut is out in force again after Group dominance at Royal Randwick on Saturday; Group-winning trainer Paul Perry has multiple runners, and the Bjorn Baker stable has a presence.
Gayna, a former Golden West trainer of the year, is based at Mudgee with a stable of 22 after training at Bathurst, Grafton and Gulgong. She has three charges with form and upside on Scone’s seven-race TAB program where prolific Greg Ryan (who rode the first two winners at Forbes today) is a significant ally.
Gayna has won the Bathurst Soldier’s Day Saddle twice, the regional Summer Cup and last season, stable star Galaxy Warrior was a city winner and Country Championships contender. He’ll resume soon, set for the $200,000 Highway event during the Randwick spring carnival.
Gayna will be in contention on Tuesday with lightly-raced Foxdown, Taking Liberties and Sugar Dance. And they oppose the Lees, Perry and Baker stables who have dominant numbers and favourites.
Lees has six acceptors at Scone following a quinella at headquarters in the Missile Stakes, where Invincible Gem indicated she will be among the major players in the spring with a superb win over stablemate Le Romain. Lees won earlier with Wang Wah and Baker scored with Sangiovese who edged out Lees’s Launch Code.
Meanwhile, Gayna’s maiden Foxdown, with Ryan riding, resumes in a Yarraman Park 1000m maiden after strong Dubbo placings in May: “He’s still green; the penny hasn’t dropped with him yet. We’re trying to get him of the barriers better and not get so far back, hoping Greg Ryan is the answer there,” Gayna offered.
Taking Liberties contests a Stratum Star-Widden Stud 1100m after placings at Scone and Gunnedah.
“She's a lovely mare, her form is solid and she can over-race, but if she settles better she’s in her right race and we think she’ll get further.”
Finally, Sugar Dance in a Kia Ora 1600m off a Bathurst win and Hawkesbury placing: “He’s a really nice type with upside, taken a bit more time to mature, but he won well at Bathurst and Hawkesbury was probably a harder race, he’s well placed.” Scone will race in predicted fine conditions with the course rated a soft 5.