Old stager wins again for Tumba trainer

The George Dimitropoulos trained Willy White Socks was too good at Narrandera on Saturday, winning the 1400m Benchmark 50 Handicap.

If you ask Tumbarumba and Wagga trainer George Dimitropoulos, he will tell you some horses just love being in the stable. 

That certainly seems to be the case for his galloper Willy White Socks, with the eight-year-old recording win number 12 from start number 111 at Narrandera on Saturday. 

“The horse loves to be in work, he loves to be in the stables,” Dimitropoulos said. 

“He is not the kind of horse that goes sour. It’s just a matter of keeping him fresh.”

Dimitropoulos believes he has worked out the secret to his seasoned galloper, who dropped back from the staying distances to win over the seven furlongs at Narrandera, storming home to take out the 1400m Benchmark 50 Handicap.

“He isn’t the kind of horse you can work too hard; he likes to be kept fresh, he is not a four or five-year-old anymore, so he needs a bit of extra care,” Dimitropoulos said.

Brendan Ward guided Willy White Socks to victory, with the old stager beating Sydney Blue and Kraunui the line.

“Look, there were a few question marks going to Narrandera, but I thought the horse, with a bit of a freshen up, was going to be a better 1400 to 1600m horse, and I said that to the owners, and it worked out well,” Dimitropoulos said. 

It was the second time the Wagga galloper had won at Narrandera, and Dimitropoulos believed his previous form on the track, and the fact that the course played reasonably fair, resulted in the good win.

“He seems to love Narrandera and Gundagai if you look at his form,” Dimitropoulos said

“It was a heavy eight, but Narrandera is a different heavy. They were coming off the pace a little bit that day, earlier on the leaders were doing a little bit better and later on, when we raced, they were coming from behind and that suited us.”

Connections are now eyeing the $27,000 Battlers Cup at Wagga on July 5 as Willy White Sock’s next target. 

“We were planning to go in the 1700m race at Gundagai next weekend, but the boys want to go to the 1300m Benchmark 50 at Wagga worth $27,000,” Dimitropoulos said. 

“So, I need to freshen him up as much as I can and go for that one.”

Willy White Socks has plenty of racing left in him according to Dimitropoulos, but the trainer was adamant that he would pull the pin the minute his old boy suggested otherwise. 

“I am the type of trainer that if I thought I was going to do the horse any harm, I wouldn’t run him,” Dimitropoulos said.

“He has done a marvellous job. He is a pleasure to have in the stables and he has been a good earner while I’ve had him.”