Rokanori Delivers on debut for trainer Williams’

The son of Awesome Rock made his long awaited debut at Belmont on Wednesday and delivered on expectations in the Western Racepix Maiden (1200m).

Sitting outside of the leader, Rokanori finished the race off strongly and defeated Pennys Afield by ¾ of a length with Serviceman third.

A $165,000 Magic Millions Perth yearling, Rokanori has been carefully managed by Williams since the three-year-olds first trial last September.

Williams believes his patient approach will pay dividends.

“He’s been shin sore a couple of times,” Williams said.

“I had him penciled in as a Guinea’s type but he went shin sore last prep and we gave him a good break.

“Hopefully this time we’re going to get a few runs out of him.

“He looked like he was pretty green today (Wednesday), but I think we’ve got something to look forward to.”

Rokanori gave Williams his first win since the breakup of his training partnership with wife, Alana when Racing and Wagering Western Australia (RWWA) introduced mandatory COVID vaccination in WA racing.

Williams hopes Rokanori’s impressive win can pave the way for further success at Ascot on Saturday when Coming Around resumes in the Listed Cyril Flower Stakes (1200m).

The Gingerbread Man gelding won three races for Williams before being transferred to Brett Stanley in Melbourne where he won two races and placed second in the Mildura Cup (1300m).

Given two warm up trials, Coming Around kicks off his campaign after running in the Chester Manifold Stakes (1400m) at Flemington 399 days back.

“He’s in pretty good nick,” Williams said.

“His trials were good but 1200m is not perfect.

“He’s going to need a bit of luck early.”

The Cyril Flower Stakes has attracted a field of 11 starters. Coming Around will start from barrier 9 for jockey Shaun McGruddy.

He’s rated $10 with Tabtouch.

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