Marsabit on fast backup for Williams

Image: R&SSteve Hart

Marsabit, trained by Danny Williams, will race at Rosehill on Saturday

Goulburn trainer Danny Williams has no qualms backing Country Classic winner Marsabit at Rosehill Gardens this weekend.

The five-year-old winner was the surprise winner of last weekend’s $150,000 program for trainers across the country, opening at $81 before being cashed into $41 when they jumped. But the hit didn’t come from Williams himself.

Speaking to Sky Sports Radio on Tuesday morning, Williams explained that despite not being activated, the win was no shock.

“I was actually (confident),” Williams said.

“Believe it or not, I didn’t support him. I was there and I had no money on me.

“As coaches we are so busy, I didn’t have time to get to the Eftpos machine to withdraw money.

“It wasn’t my money, but I was willing to tip anyone who would listen.

“You have to take the opportunities when they come, we will run on Saturday and we will support him.”

Williams, best known for his heroics with the crowd-favorite Shelby Sixtysix, is still enjoying the ride the Toronado calabash gave him earlier in the year. In about a month, the five-year-old won a Randwick Highway before beating Nature Strip at home in the Group 2 Challenge Stakes and then hailed in the Group 1 Galaxy at Rosehill.

Given the extra coverage his stable stardom afforded Williams, he had to adjust to the spotlight.

“I couldn’t believe it. In four weeks, all of this happened,” Williams reflected.

“Even now I went out to Warren out west, I had a young guy, he must have been 11 or 12 years old, follow me back to the horse stalls and say, ‘How’s Shelby doing?’ and I said, ‘Yeah, mate, that’s good,’ and I kept walking.”

“He pulled me 20 meters up and said ‘Do you mind if I take a selfie?’

“That’s what this horse did, it made my day. It is a reflection of what that horse has done for people. He had all the one and two dollar punters on him and it was an amazing ride.”

Having had no fewer than 17 starts this calendar year, punters will now have to wait until next year before seeing the return of the ‘people’s champion’.

“It was good to see him run second on cup day, but now the weather has dried out and the tracks have gotten harder, we’ll give him a break,” Williams said.

“We took it out, we’ll bring it back for the fall. He did a good job.”

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