Day At The Track

William's magic claims $150,000 Vic Oaks

08:08 AM 17 Apr 2016 NZST
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A Piccadilly Princess and Tim Williams A Piccadilly Princess, Tim Williams and connections Happy owners off A Piccadilly Princess
A Piccadilly Princess and Tim Williams find new life down the straight to win by 2.2 metres
A Piccadilly Princess, Tim Williams and connections
Happy owners off A Piccadilly Princess

Melton harness racing debutante driver Tim Williams gave A Piccadilly Princess a brisk breather and then revved her up for a scintillating win in the Nevele R Stud Victoria Oaks at Tabcorp Park Melton.

The dip from the breeze to the box seat was described as “the winning move” by the connections of another Mark Purdon-trained Group 1 triumph, having overrun Emma Stewart’s super three-year-old filly Heavens Trend in the straight.

 “It was a great performance,” Williams, 26, said of A Piccadilly Princess, who recorded a fifth straight victory and a seventh in 13 starts. “I’m privileged to be able to sit behind these horses with these colours on. I can’t thank Mark enough.”

The filly by Bettor's Delight out of Hyde Park Royal had to earn the win.

Flojos Gold flew out of the gates and was then crossed by Gavin Lang on Heavens Trend when they reached the back straight. As that was happening up front, down back Dancingwithsierra led A Piccadilly Princess three-wide, with the latter settling in the breeze outside Heavens Trend.

“We got a good cart into it and that made a difference,” Williams said.

There they remained through a 59.7 first half-mile before Lang stretched out on Heavens Trend in a 27.2 third quarter, with A Piccadilly Princess losing touch approaching the final bend and Williams dropping her on to the tail of the leader.

“I thought I was in a wee bit of trouble,” Williams said. “It was a timely breather.”

Having given more than a length, A Piccadilly Princess found new life down the straight, with the filly putting her nose in front at the 100m and advancing to win by 2.2m from Heavens Trend.

Stewart’s other hope, Celebrity Guest, put in an enormous last 200m to draw from the pegs to the outside and storm home into third, relegating a resilient Dancingwithsierra to a close fourth.

With some having flown in from Hong Kong for the race, a proud group of owners, including Simon Bradley, Michael Ward and Thomas Patterson, were on hand to accept the coveted Oaks.

Patterson said Williams decision to provide their filly brief cover at the top of the straight may have made all the difference.

“Coming around the bend we were a little concerned, but Tim was obviously confident he still had a little in her,” Patterson said. “He ducked in and I thought that the other one, Heavens Trend, had got away from us. But Mark and Nat and the team believe in what they have and Tim didn’t panic and it worked out and was probably the winning move.”

Patterson said A Piccadilly Princess would return to Purdon’s New Zealand stable for a likely tilt at the New Zealand Oaks and a potential collision with stunning stablemate Our Dream About Me, who won the New South Wales Oaks.

Cody Winnell



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