Trackwork ‘win’ has Williamsburg ready to fire

Williamsburg has been well supported to break a run of outs in the Lord Mayors Cup.

WILLIAMSBURG. Picture: Martin King / Sportpix

A little horse psychology appears to have had the desired effect on Williamsburg as his trainers bid to help him end a 19-month drought from the winner's list.

The four-year-old hasn't tasted success since the 2022 Dulcify Quality when he defeated subsequent Group 1 Randwick Guineas winner Communist on a heavy track.

Following a brace of seconds at his past two starts, trainers Gerald Ryan and Sterling Alexiou have delved into their bag of tricks, simulating a win for Williamsburg on the training track to remind him how it feels to get his head in front.

Ryan believes it has given the horse a welcome confidence boost ahead of his assignment in Saturday's rescheduled Listed Lord Mayors Cup (2000m) at Randwick.

"He worked with a mate on Tuesday morning, he sat three lengths back off him and we made him run to him and go past him," Ryan said.

"Tyler (Schiller) rode him and he came back and said, 'this will be winning a race shortly' and I said, 'as long as you win on him on Saturday'."

The Lord Mayors Cup was one of five races washed out at Rosehill last weekend and Ryan said the extra time would only advantage Williamsburg, who would have been racing on a seven-day back-up.

Instead, he has had a fortnight between runs and heads to Randwick where he has posted two of his four wins.

Perhaps more significantly, he gets not only his favoured heavy conditions, but a return to 2000 metres.

Williamsburg has raced over the journey three times for two minor placings and a solid fifth at Group 1 level in Sharp 'N' Smart's 2022 Spring Champion Stakes.

"He ran fifth in the (Spring) Champion Stakes, third in the Rosehill Guineas and he ran third to Osipenko in the Frank Packer Plate when he should have probably won," Ryan said.

"I went back and had a look at his three 2000-metre races and he has always gone better when he's been ridden a bit quieter, so he will be ridden quiet.

"There looks enough speed there on Saturday to do that."

With the scratching of the fancied Waterford, most of the Lord Mayors Cup runners have tightened in betting but few more so than Williamsburg.

His price has almost halved from an opening quote of $11 into $6, making him an equal second pick behind $4.80 favourite Sir Lucan.