Byerley Park trainers Peter and Dawn Williams had a memorable season with several quality fillies and they are hoping they can continue that form into the new season.
The Gerry Harvey-owned two-year-old Rendition struck her trainers as more of a three- year-old type, but the daughter of Pierro pleasantly surprised them with a string of placings, including a third in the Listed Champagne Stakes (1600m) at Ellerslie in April. “She’s had a good season,” Peter Williams said. “We have always thought she would be a better three-year-old, but she has done a good job as a two-year-old. We will just press on now to the new season.”
While the Williams’ have had plenty of success in the spring with their three-year-old fillies, they are eying summer and autumn targets with Rendition. “She is back in work now and looks great, so hopefully everything will be right with her,” Williams said. “She won’t be produced too early in the season, we are aiming her more towards Christmas time and the (New Zealand) Oaks (Group 1, 2400m).”
They tasted minor success in this year’s running of the Oaks, with Camelot filly Star Karen finishing third. Williams was pleased with the result and said an Australian spring campaign could be on the cards for the rising four-year-old mare. “She’s back in work now and we are happy with her,” he said. “If she comes up she might go to Australia for some of the Australian staying mares races. We will see what happens, but if she comes up alright, that is what her aim is.”
Another stable runner that Williams is excited to see return to the track is Group 1- winning filly Media Sensation. The $425,000 Karaka yearling sale purchase struck early in her three-year-old season, winning three of her first four starts, including the Group 3 Soliloquy Stakes (1400m) and Group 1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m). “She won a Group 1 and has had a great season, I’m very happy with her,” Williams said. He is pleased with the way the Sarah Green and Ger Beemsterboer-owned filly has returned from her spell and is eyeing some elite-level sprints with the classy daughter of I Am Invincible. “She’s back in the stables now and is working along quietly, she looks great,” he said. “She has grown and strengthened, so we’ll just see what happens. “We’ll just bring her up quietly and she will be aimed at some of the better sprints around the country.”
Green and Beemsterboer purchased Media Sensation as a yearling on the advice of their trainers, and they are hoping their two acquisitions from Karaka in January can follow in the same steps. They went to $220,000 to secure a So You Think filly out of Jamieson Park’s draft, while they purchased a Savabeel filly out of Waikato Stud’s draft for $525,000.
Williams is happy with the progress of both yearlings and believes the Savabeel filly could make a late juvenile. “They have been broken in and turned out and they are just back in doing a bit of quiet work through the winter, just keeping them warm,” he said. “They will probably be produced around Christmas time. “The So You Think is probably more of a three-year-old, but the Savabeel filly looks like she could make a late two-year-old.”
While the Williams’ could be in for an exciting season in the new term, their attention is firmly focused on Avondale on Wednesday where they will line-up six runners. Williams has highlighted three-year-old filly Frozen as the stable’s best chance of the day in the Mulholland For A stronger Voice (1400m) after her pleasing runner-up performance over 1200m on debut at Counties last month. “She is working well, we are happy with her.
She went well in her first start, so provided that she handles the track (she should go well),” he said. “This time of year all the wet tracks are different. Some are loose, some are puggy. It’s whether they can handle it. “You can’t condemn many horses at this time of year if they don’t handle the wet tracks. “We will see how she races tomorrow and then we will see what happens. There is plenty of time for her.”