Williams Hoping El Mo’s Luck Changes For Kosciuszko

By Greg Prichard

El Mo has had no luck in previous campaigns aimed at getting starts in the rich Randwick races for country-trained horses, but the six-year-old’s Bathurst trainer Gayna Williams is convinced all of that is about to change.

The normally reserved Williams was bullish in saying the lucky slot-holders for The Kosciuszko who emerge after Wednesday’s draw for the $1.3 race over 1200m at Randwick on October 17 should seriously consider her horse for selection.

“He’s got very good credentials from his last prep,” Williams said.

“In the city races he was very competitive, winning one and running second in another, and there have been some well-performed horses in the city come out of those races.

“He’s since had a good spell and he’s come back more settled this prep. He’s a better horse now. We brought him in early, in June, just so we’d have a bit of time up our sleeve and so far, so good. It’s all going really well.

“He won a barrier trial at Gilgandra a couple of weeks ago and the plan is for him to race at Canterbury on September 23. If he’s lucky enough to be picked to run in The Kosciuszko then we’ll make that his second-up run. He’s got excellent second-up form.

“El Mo’s a strong track worker. He does a lot of work at home and he’s a better horse kept a bit fresh and bouncing.”

El Mo, a $13 chance in TAB fixed odds betting for this year’s edition of The Kosciuszko, narrowly missed a start in the race last year when he wound up as the first emergency and Handle The Truth went on to win.

He was then aimed at the Country Championships in the autumn, but although Williams was able to get him to win a barrier trial at Bathurst in February a nagging injury problem unfortunately brought that campaign to an end without any race starts.

“He had a foot abscess that seemed to be deep-seated and just didn’t come out in time for us to get to the Championships with him,” Williams said.

“But that’s gone now. He’s all good.

“He’s been pretty unlucky trying to get to these sort of races, but now we’re hoping that bad luck turns to good because he’s still only lightly raced as a six-year-old and we’ve been able to save the best of him for this race.

“The spell he had at Meredith Park was the best thing for him. He’s now a more mature horse – physically and mentally – and now hopefully after coming close in the past it’s our turn to get a start in The Kosciuszko.”

Healing Hands, another of Williams’s horses, has been listed as a $26 chance for The Kosciuszko but she said the five-year-old wasn’t being aimed at the race.