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Ben Has Carnival Plans in Mind for Surprise
Trainer Ben Williams is already looking ahead to next year’s winter carnival with rising sprinter Molongle Surprise, but his first priority is notching another win at Cluden Park tomorrow.
Williams has been highly patient with the five-year-old Bel Esprit gelding who will be having only his seventh race start in the Brown Brothers Benchmark 70 Hcp (1000m).
“On what he’s done you’d have to say he’s an up and coming little horse,” Williams said.
“This will probably be his last run this time in. I’d like to give him a decent spell and hopefully have a good horse for the carnival next year.
“I expect him to go pretty close to winning. I’m not sure about a wet track but he seems to be able to overcome setbacks in his races. ”
Williams and long-time owners Trevor and Gloria Davies, who name their horses after their property near Molongle Creek south of Townsville, have been in no hurry with Molongle Surprise after he suffered an early setback as a young horse.
The brilliant bay didn’t make his debut until October last year finishing second in a maiden at the Charters Tower Amateurs.
But he quickly stamped himself as a horse to watch after winning by eight lengths in a maiden at Pentland and another runaway win at the Towers.
The gelding has since won two from three starts this time in at Cluden, including a dominant win over the smart Rigel on Cup Day.
Those successes have been a big boost for Williams since he relocated from Charters Towers to Townsville earlier this year when the local track closed for renovations.
So much so that he is finalising a permanent shift to stables at Wulguru with a team of 18.
“Molongle Surprise is the best horse I’ve trained for Trevor and Gloria and they’ve had some good horses with me,” Williams said.
“The Davies and Sue Hammer have been huge supporters of mine and it’s great when they get a really good one.
“Graham Kliese has also been very important for us since I’ve been down here.
“He’s a terrific rider with a huge amount of experience and we think alike with horses so we combine pretty well.”
Kliese will again be aboard Molongle Surprise tomorrow on a track that on race eve was rated a soft 6 after heavy rain earlier in the week.
Williams also has the mercurial Our Alicia’s Lane engaged in the TAB Open Hcp (1300m) and is hoping a light weight might see a return to form.
The son of Real Saga has been winless for a year but showed a glimpse of his old form with a fourth in the Lightning two starts back.
In a tough race, Grey Missile, Simply Splashing, Dalon all get a chance to return to form after good recent runs in the major carnival races.
Simply Splashing, under the care of Townsville trainer Joanna Hassett, turned in a slashing last start fifth in the Cairns Newmarket behind Dr Zous.