Day At The Track

Lovely drive by Williams snares Northern Oaks

09:47 PM 04 Mar 2016 NZDT
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Tim Williams - Another Group 1 victory for the All Stars driver
Tim Williams - Another Group 1 victory for the All Stars driver
Piccadilly Princess

The $125,000 Northern Oaks at the harness racing meeting at Alexandra Park tonight looked a two horse race on paper between the All Stars duo of Golden Goddess and Piccadilly Princess and that is exactly how it worked out.

Golden Goddess had been flying in her races and was unbeaten in her races this season until a last start defeat by Piccadilly Princess on the grass at Methven.

Most pundits were prepared to forgive her that defeat as she didn't look 100% comfortable on the grass and Piccadilly Princess is a high class filly in her own right.

The draw for the Oaks looked to have evened up the race again with Piccadilly Princess drawing beautifully at barrier two while Golden Goddess had drawn awkwardly at one on the second line.

When the gates folded, Tim Williams sent Piccadilly Princess forward from her handy draw and grabbed the early lead but was immediately put under pressure by Bettor Think Quick and Josh Dickie and they battled for the front for over 250 metres before Josh eased Bettor Think Quick and sat in the death seat.

Golden Goddess with Natalie Rasmussen in the bike had been sitting back beyond midfield watching the early battle and as soon as the pace eased, Natalie sent Golden Goddess around the field in search of the lead.

Josh Dickie and Bettor Think Quick kicked up for 100 metres to make Golden Goddess work that bit harder as she went forward and Golden Goddess eventually made the front over Piccadilly Princess  with 1400 metres to go.

Passing the 500 metres Golden Goddess opened the throttle up and the only filly who could go with her was Piccadilly Princess and these two cleared out from the rest of the field as they turned for home.

Slowly but surely Piccadilly Princess leveled up and eased past by half a length late in the race to claim her first Group 1 victory.

Golden Goddess was game in defeat in second while the next filly home in Arden's Choice was nine and three quarters lengths away in third.

The daughter of Bettor's Delight from the Holmes Hanover mare Hyde Park Royal paced the 2700 metres in a very quick 3:17.9, a mile rate of 1:57.9 with closing sectionals of 57 and 27.9.

Piccadilly Princess takes her record to 11 starts for 5 wins and 4 seconds with $129,143 in the bank.

It was a new New Zealand record for a three year old filly over 2700 metres, taking nine tenths of a second off the previous record set by by The Orange Agent in last years Northern Oaks.

Tim Williams was his usual modest self on returning to the winners circle.

" The feeling in the stable was she had closed the gap on Golden Goddess and I am glad she picked tonight to prove it."

" We had a good draw and took advantage of it."

"I didn't think I would be put under so much pressure for the early lead by Josh and Bettor Think Quick but once Golden Goddess came around and found the front , my filly relaxed beautifully in the trail."

" I really want to thank the connections for putting me on tonight"

" When I was suspended in December they kept the drive open for me and when I drove the stablemate at Methven instead of Piccadilly Princess they still kept the drive for me tonight."

" I can't thank them enough," Tim said.

Tim Williams has had a great last 18 months since joining the All Stars team but he has repaid the faith that Natalie and Mark showed in him with some outstanding drives, especially in the Group 1 events.

Harnesslink Media 

 

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