Trainer Matthew Williams seeking Ballarat brilliance from ‘weird unit’

Trainer Matthew Williams can only guess how his “weird unit” Brilliant Concept will perform at Ballarat on Saturday.

TAB has Brilliant Concept as a $34 chance to win the Suez McKellar Mile (1600m). But the bookmaker is only guessing as well.

Only Brilliant Concept knows whether he will be at his best at Ballarat. And he’ll probably make up his mind what he’ll do as heads turn for home as he has done in many of his other 23 starts.

Brilliant Concept’s five wins indicate the five-year-old doesn’t lack talent, which adds to Williams’ frustration with the gelding.

“He’s just a weird animal,” Williams said.

“He’s not bad horse to have around the stables but he’s a frustrating horse because you know there’s a bit more ability there if he just did things right.

“If the right one turns up, he can win the race and surprise, but if he doesn’t, he could run tenth.”

Brilliant Concept showed his quirks with his third in a Benchmark 78 race at Geelong on October 21. He raced midfield to the home turn but took time to decide what he was going to do on the home turn.

The son of Star Witness ran on well to finish a length from the winner. But cost himself a shot at the Melbourne Cup Carnival Country Final on Oaks Day as only the first two home qualified for the $500,000 race at Flemington.

Dean Yendall (pictured on Expectant at Kyneton) will ride Brilliant Concept at Ballarat on Saturday. Photo: Brett Holburt/Racing Photos via Getty Images.Source:Getty Images

Williams said a post-race chat with jockey Dean Yendall laid bare Brilliant Concept’s strange racing style.

“At Geelong, he’s finished off really well over the last 100m but Yendall said when he went for him at the top of the straight, he couldn’t get anything out of him,” Williams said.

“He just wouldn’t go. He’s a real funny horse.”

Brilliant Concept did the same thing at The Valley in July, losing touch with the rest of the field before rocketing home to finish 2 ½ lengths from the winner.

“The jockeys actually can’t get him to go sometimes and he might struggle for a furlong, then just jump out of the ground and hit the line,” Williams said.

One can only wonder which version of Brilliant Concept will appear at Ballarat.

Originally published asWeird Concept chasing Ballarat win

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