By Tony Megahey
Prolific TAB Highway winner Danny Williams has provided a strong punting push with Laughing Or Crying, targeted at value ($19), his runner in the Kensington episode on Saturday with his dual acceptor Shelby Sixtysix racing at Wagga Wagga on Friday.
“The plan was always to set him for this Highway after he had a set-back and was unlucky in a couple of races, including a Highway last prep,” Williams said about on the super consistent and quaintly named Walking or Dancing (NZ) six-year-old.
“He sustained a nasty eye injury, got hit with a clog in running, but he’s where we want him for Saturday - fitter, getting out to his right distance range and nicely weighted."
Laughing Or Crying carries an appealing 54kg less the 1kg claim for highly rated apprentice Jean Van Overmeire in a TAB Highway Class 3, 1400m.
The Williams gelding, second-up from a spell, was unlucky in a Kensington 1400m episode in May, at this meeing last year, when beaten a neck by We Concur from back in the field.
Laughing Or Crying runs third at Wagga on March 30
He drops to an attractive limit on Saturday after being weighted on 62kg and 59kg at his latest starts at Goulburn and Wagga Wagga in easier grade.
Laughing Or Crying offers the consistency of two wins and ten placings from 16 starts in what is largely deemed a two horse Highway “war” between the James McDonald ridden Toro Toro ($2.80) and Jailbreak ($4.20) with Nash Rawiller from the Royal Randwick 1200m Highway two weeks ago.
Then, Toro Toro was caught late by the Cavanough’s promising Fender. Jailbreak powered late from near last to finish fourth.
From a far more favourable draw Jailbreak could crack it, ideally suited out to 1400m. So too, though, will Laughing Or Crying according to Danny.
“He’ll get back, that’s his racing pattern but there’s invariably early tempo and pressure in these Highways and he’ll be strong late with the (light) weight,” he said.
Early in his career Laughing Or Crying was placed at 2000m and 1600m and Williams has him fresh enough second-up for Saturday’s 1400m.
Williams, with numerous runners over the Wagga Wagga two-day carnival, has maintained a productive strike rate with his extensive Goulburn team winning recently with the ex-Waterhouse and Bott's Cock Match, Shelby Sixtysix, My Blue Jeans and Leg Work.
Williams and Murwillumbah’s Matthew Dunn have been dominant trainers since the inception of the Highway series with the Goulburn trainer sitting on 17.5 Highway wins to Dunn's 23.