Day At The Track

Christian Cullen lass wins $160,000 Final

08:19 AM 26 Apr 2013 NZST
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Matthew Williamson & Nigel McGrath Libertybel​le Midfrew
Matthew Williamson & Nigel McGrath
Duane Ranger Photo
Libertybel​le Midfrew
Duane Ranger Photo

Oamaru junior driver Matthew Williamson has driven 86 winners this harness racing season but he rated his 87th victory at Alexandra Park tonight (Friday April 26) as the highlight of 2012-2013.

Williamson told Harnesslink that just moments after he and Libertybelle Midfrew won the Listed $160,000 PGG Wrightson New Zealand Yearling Sales Final for 2-year-old pacing fillies.

He admitted he got the run, but felt the Nigel McGrath trained daughter of Christian Cullen was always going to be a winning chance tonight after running fifth at her first look at the track seven days earlier.

"Nigel had her spot on after we had no luck in the running last week. She copped a tough trip then but that was not the case tonight. She felt great and was always travelling like the winner," Williamson said.

Libertybelle Midfrew got a nice run in behind Martine Maguire and then in the straight she was simply too strong for place-getters and favourites -Te Amo Bromac (Natalie Rasmussen) and Venus Serena (John Dunn).

She was the third favourite and paid $9 to win.

Williamson said she could only get better going into next week's Group One $170,000 New Zealand Sires Stakes Fillies Championship.

"Greenness cost her early on and she's only now just starting to learn the game. She has nice gait speed and I think will be a real nice pacer one day," Williamson said.

Libertybelle Midfrew paced the 2200m in 2:44.30. Mile rate: 2:00.2. Last 800m: 59.4. ; Last 400m: 29.4. Lead time: 44.2.

It was the bay filly's first win in five attempts. She is owned by her breeders, John W S Mooney, Mrs Rebecca and G. Mooney.

By Duane RANGER (editor) at Alexandra Park

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