By Chris Roots
The Willinga brand is going to become better known in racing in the next couple of years and for the first time the man behind it, Terry Snow, will venture to Rosehill to watch unbeaten three-year-old Willinga Rufio tomorrow.
It’s not just racing where the Willinga Park team prominent. They are leaders in campdrafting and international dressage with the backing of Snow, who was the man to develop Canberra Airport.
“He just likes being involved with the horses and wants to have success,” Willinga Park’s racing manager Troy Palmer said.
″We have had success in campdrafting, and Terry is backing Jayden Brown over in Europe with a team of dressage horses at the moment and he has already had some good results.
″We are hoping he can get to the Paris Olympics next year, so the racing is just another arm of the operation as well as a showjumping team.
I had a couple of racehorses and Terry wanted to try his luck as well, so we have linked up with Australian Bloodstock and Luke Murrell and have about 16 horses now.
“Willinga Beast was runner-up in a group 2 [the Percy Sykes Stakes] and was a bit unlucky, but Willinga Rufio was our first city winner. It takes a good horse to do what he has done so far. Terry is really looking forward to being at the races on Saturday.”
Willinga Rufio is showing the potential to be a nice stayer. He won his maiden at Hawkesbury before taking the step up to Saturday city company with ease last time.
Trainer Mark Newnham wants to continues his education and pick up another BOBS bonus tomorrow as his three-year-old year draws to a close.
“He has always shown ability, but we knew he would need a trip to show it,” Newnham said. “It is a good chance to keep him in restricted grade against three and four-year-olds on the weekend and get another learning experience into him. He was able to control the race last time and really run some smart sections, and he could do the same again on Saturday.
″He will only have to carry 53.5kilos after Tyler [Schiller’s] claim and even from the wide draw I can see him rolling along in front.
“He is going to get better with every run and we will see if he is up to another one after the weekend because it has already been a good first campaign.”
Schiller has got it right on Willinga Rufio at both his appearances, which has shown the ability quicken and run sections that his rivals can’t match to have the race won a long way from home.
“He had to do a tiny bit of work early but once he did get there he relaxed like a nice stayer and did everything right,” Schiller told Racing NSW.
″He went through a couple of cheap sectionals and when I asked him to extend he kept picking up and found the line super strong.
“He was floating along a bit late and if a horse came to him it’ll be interesting to see how much more he can find. It feels like there’s another three lengths there if something challenges him.”
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