William Thomas returns home for trainer John Price

Cranbourne trainer John Price has William Thomas back in his care as he strives to get the sprinter back into winning form.

William Thomas lines up in the Martin Collins Polytrack Plate (1000m) at Caulfield on Saturday having returned to Price’s stable following a stint with Lindsey Smith at Warrnambool.

The rising eight-year-old won seven of his first 33 starts before Price recommended to his sister, and owner, Shirley Prosser that Smith take over the training of William Thomas.

“The horse was pulling a bit hard on the track and doing a few things that some older horses do and knowing Lindsey for years I sent him down there to do a bit of beach work,” Price said.

“I think Lindsey did a great job insofar as he had no luck come race day.

“At Warrnambool last time the track wasn’t suitable while the run at Caulfield, was quite a good run.

“But after Warrnambool, we had a bit of a chat and decided to bring him home and he turned up in great order, very fit, and I’ve got the luxury of keeping him fresh.”

William Thomas has finished closer to last than first in his last five starts after posting a placing at Flemington last July.

After flopping on a heavy track in the Listed Wangoom Handicap on May 4, Price reasoned that a race rather than a trial would be more beneficial for William Thomas upon his return.

While the 1000m journey may be short of his best trip, the gelding is up against only six opponents.

“I thought it was a bit pointless trialling a fit horse, so he might as well go around in a race,” Price said.

“It’s not an overly strong race, although it is a bit short for him, but hopefully he’ll do what he normally does, sit back and work home solidly.

“We want to see if he’s got a bit left in him or he’s ready for retirement.

“I can’t fault the horse. His legs are clean, he’s bright in the eye, there’s no maintenance that needs to be done, so he’s in good order.”

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