Racing Ahead with Healing Hands
Highly successful local trainer, Gayna Williams, is aiming her classy galloper Healing Hands at the $110,000 The Ray White Emms Mooney Panorama over 1300 metres, the feature sprint on Sunday September 25th at the Bathurst Cup Meeting.
Stablemate, the 2021 Bathurst Cup winner From The Bush, is back from a let up and although not ready for the 1800 metres of the Cup this year may also be a starter for Gayna Williams in The Ray White Emms Mooney Panorama over the shorter 1300 metres.
The now 8 year old Healing Hands has been very lightly raced and right from the start displayed outstanding ability and, ridden by the now retired champion jockey Greg Ryan, recorded 5 wins and a second placing from the first 7 starts.
One of those wins was when beating a field of 14 in a Country Championship Qualifier at Mudgee.
Healing Hands has since been placed at Randwick and in another Country Championship Qualifier.
Raced by Frank and Gayna Williams and their daughter Lauren and her husband Matthew Cook, Healing Hands was purchased online before racing, for a bargain $5,000 being by superstar sire I Am Invincible from Miss Alberta, an outstanding mare trained at Dubbo by Peter Nestor.
Winner of 9 races, Miss Alberta won the 2008 Coonamble Cup when ridden by Greg Ryan, the 2010 Parkes Cup ( Brad Clark ) and won at Randwick with Nash Rawiller the jockey.
A recent eye-catching barrier trial win in a field of 10 at Bathurst by Healing Hands indicated bright prospects ahead for the talented sprinter.
Prior to The Ray White Emms Mooney Panorama, Healing Hands will take on a field of speedsters in the 1100 metres Vincent Gordon Flying at the Dubbo Gold Cup Meeting on Sunday.
Introduced three years ago, The Panorama has already jumped from $40,000 to $110,000 and two of the three winners have contested The Kosciuszko, the Rod Northam trained Spiranac finishing 3rd and Press Box, trained at Bathurst by Dean Mirfin, finishing 6th.
Sure to quickly become established as a leading race on the country calendar, The Ray White Emms Mooney Panorama is perfectly placed just under three weeks before The Kosciuszko and gives trainers a great opportunity to showcase their horses to slot- holders.
The draw for Kosciuszko slots is made 16 days before The Panorama and after an initial rush to sign up a couple of favourites, slot holders tend to sit back and wait which adds further importance to a good performance at Bathurst.
Born at Oberon, Gayna Williams worked in a local bank and her horse related activities included pony club and later dressage, showjumping and eventing at which she represented at State level.
A trainer since 1984, Gayna Williams was also the secretary of Bathurst Turf Club for three years.
The winner of 4 Central Districts Premierships she also had success when training at Grafton and Mudgee but is now back operating from stables opposite Bathurst Racecourse.
Gayna met her husband Frank in 1984 when he managed the cattle and prepared yearlings at the Midlands Stud at Oberon owned by prominent car dealer Norman.G.Booth.
Frank Williams has played an integral role in the running of the racing stables while current staff include Jess Crouch ( full time ), Angela Kaden ( weekends ) and Amy Spry who travels from Rylstone to ride work.
Bathurst based jockeys Chelsea Ings and Will Stanley often assist with trackwork while Lauren Williams is part of the team working on race days.
Throughout her career the highly respected Gayna Williams has regularly produced metropolitan and country feature race winners.
The long list includes, Galaxy Warrior, I Am A Cool Kid, Instant Success, Reece, Hasta Manana, Zoo Station, Tags, Rodes Genius, Rodes Kid, Noel’s Gift, Greenfellas, El Mo, Little Britain, From The Bush, Healing Hands and many more.
Rehoming retired racehorses is also a priority for Gayna and while the well performed Reece and Noel’s Gift have forever homes on the Williams property, others have good homes elsewhere and some are doing well in show jumping and eventing including Conroy’s Gap winner of 9 on the race track and the lesser lights Broadway Bullet and Continental Drift.
The Williams stable is sure to be well represented throughout the day at Bathurst where the $50,000 Bathurst Cup (1800 metres) is an eligibility race for the $2 million Big Dance on November 1st at Royal Randwick.
Photo: Healing Hands (Adam Hyeronimus) heads to the barriers at Royal Randwick. Image by Bradley Photographers