O'Lordy asked to atone for Highway flop

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January 5, 2018 - 06:42 PM

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Danny Williams expects a calmer and more focused performance from O'Lordy in the Highway Handicap at Randwick following her forgettable last start at Warwick Farm.

The Goulburn trainer believes a short freshen-up has benefited the five-year-old who failed to settle when she finished last at Warwick Farm in a similar standard Highway race for country-trained horses.

"She certainly wasn't on her best behaviour that day. She was very cantankerous pre-race and she over raced, which was also out of character. She had an absolute shocker," Williams said.

Williams is confident O'Lordy, a dual Highway winner, can make amends coming back from 1600 to 1300 metres on Saturday.

"We found she was in season so she's had a freshen-up and spent several days in a small paddock," he said.

"She's freshened up perfectly and her mental focus is extremely good compared to her previous start so I'd expect her to run a very bold race."

O'Lordy will be joined by stablemate Mister Marmalade as Williams attempts to bridge the gap on the Highway Handicaps leading trainer, Matthew Dunn.

Williams has 10-1/2 wins while Dunn hopes to celebrate his 14th victory with Runway Ready.

Mister Marmalade is racing for the first time since winning a Benchmark 55 Handicap (2100m) at Goulburn in September and Williams is realistic about his chances.

"He's come up bigger and better than he ever has but he's only been back 10 weeks so we're expecting him to need the run," he said.

Port Macquarie trainer Jenny Graham, who won a Highway Handicap last month with Victorem, has the favourite Awesome Pluck who successfully passed a barrier trial after buck-jumping last time he came to town to run third in a benchmark race.