Day At The Track

Anticipated debut ends with a win

10:12 PM 03 Mar 2019 NZDT
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Chinese Whisper,Harness racing
Chinese Whisper after winning at Ascot park
Photo Bruce Stewart

The much anticipated debut of Chinese Whisper ended the right way when he impressively won the first race at Ascot Park today.

The three year old had been given a methodical preparation and he’s been unbeaten.

He’s won six workouts and two trials. He qualified at Wyndham on November 21st running 3-14.5 - seven seconds inside the qualifying time.

“It’s all about his education. He was pretty fractious and he’s been a work in progress all the time. He’s done a ton of miles and he still has a long way to go. He’s always had the ability but it was all about the manners,” said Williamson.

After beginning well trainer driver Nathan Williamson settled the horse in the one one. With 400 metres to run he launched the gelding three wide and he trotted down the middle of the track to win by a length and a quarter with The Commando in second. There were a further ten lengths back to the third horse Gazza Galleon.

 “He trotted pretty well. There were a couple of long ones there today.

The style of impressive first starter Chinese Whisper - Photo Bruce Stewart

Although HRNZ Website says Nathan’s mother Bev bred the horse he was actually bred by this trainer.

“I had a mare I was trying to get in foal to Sundon and couldn’t. Mum said she would lend me a mare and I ended up getting Little Contessa so I was pretty lucky there. I was a bit slow in getting the paper work in so that’s why it’s got Mum down as the breeder. This breeding game is a long time in the making. ”

And the name?

 “I made it up just because the rest of them are named Whisper. I was trying to think about something with whisper and Chinese Whisper came up.”

Williamson originally owned Chinese Whisper with his wife Katie but his share is now owned by local farrier Brendon Franks who shoes Williamson’s horses.

“Franksie wanted to race a horse with us and it just happened to be this one and he goes okay.”

Hawaiian Hula is also in the Williamson stable and was educated with Chinese Whisper. She showed promise last season but has had to be put aside.

“She got chips taken out of her knee in the spring otherwise she would have been racing before him, as she was a bit more advanced. It was nothing major so she’ll be a nice four year old next year.”

Ella Franks, Julie McEwan-Franks, Laura Franks, Millie and Katie Williamson, Nathan Williamson, Brendon Franks, Ollie Kite and Shane Phillips - Photo Bruce Stewart.

Williamson reports that star trotter Dark Horse is back in the stable after having had two leg injuries.

“She’s back in work and it’s the long road back again I suppose. It’ll be next season for her but we’ll put a good foundation into her and hopefully the leg will stand up.”

Chinese Whisper is a well related gelding, being a full brother to Irish Whisper which won eleven races.

He’s (Chinese Whisper) one of a talented and well-bred bunch of three year old trotters in the province which include Full Noise, Get Lucky, Tolkien, Big Iron and Jaccka Jeorge.

Meanwhile one of the most talked about maiden pacers in commission, Slate, looks set to head to the races after an impressive win at the Winton Workouts on Friday.

Slate winning his Winton Workout on Friday - Photo Bruce Stewart

Browns trainer Des Baynes has turned has back on offers for the Changeover gelding preferring to race him at this stage.

The four year old qualified impressively in 3-04.6 over 2400 metres, winning by six and a half lengths.


Bruce Stewart

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