Gayna Williams will resist the temptation to throw super sprinter I Am A Cool Kid’s hat in the ring for the $150,000 Central District Racing Association country championship qualifier after the hugely impressive gelding ran a second at Canterbury Park on Friday night.
Jumping as the $1.40 favourite, Williams’ six-year-old bay battled out of the gates but eventually worked his way to the lead and, as he did during a stunning highway handicap victory at Royal Randwick, began gapping the field in the $50,000 Canterbury Night Sprint Series heat.
Hitting the final furlong I Am A Cool Kid was over three lengths ahead of the field and looked likely to claim a fourth career win in five starts.
But the gelding faded, leaving the window open for eventual winner Handle The Truth ($10) to sneak home by a neck.
Williams has always been of the opinion I Am A Cool Kid – a horse that’s had a terrible run with luck and injury throughout his career – is a short-course specialist, and his win at Royal Randwick over 1100m would back-up that claim.
His run at Canterbury Park was a touch further at 1200m, and the country championship qualifier at Mudgee on March 3 is 1400m.
Put a line through that (qualifier). His run at Canterbury confirmed that.Mudgee trainer Gayna Williams on I Am A Cool Kid.
Williams said she wouldn’t be nominating I Am A Cool Kid, despite the horse currently still sitting on the second line of betting as an $11 chance to take out the $500,000 final in April.
"Not at all,” Williams said when asked if she was thinking about nominating I Am A Cool Kid for the qualifier on her home track.
“Put a line through that. His run at Canterbury confirmed that.”
Still, in that Canterbury sprint, I Am A Cool Kid finished second by a narrow neck and the eventual winning time was only just outside the track record, which has stood since 2008.
Williams said she was happy with the run on Friday night but wouldn’t risk her stable’s star over a longer distance.
“I think he's a short-course horse. For me, 1200 has always had a question mark on it,” she added.
“He kicked a couple of times. He went up in weight, up in grade and up in distance. We’re happy with how he went.
"We haven't really set any plans for him. He's pulled up pretty good from Friday so take it easy.”
Williams also said Healing Hands won’t nominate for the championship heat after being put in a paddock for a spell.
The Mudgee-based trainer said she’ll likely nominate El Mo and last year’s runner-up Noel’s Gift for the $150,000 heat.
El Mo won at Orange on Saturday, which should shoot the four-year-old bay’s benchmark points up high enough to warrant a start.
Williams is anticipating the 65 marker to be around the cut off for this year’s qualifier.
”It’s getting harder and harder. There’s a few high benchmarks around,” she said.