Day At The Track

Williamson dominates at Omakau

11:55 AM 03 Jan 2019 NZDT
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Majestic Man,Harness racing
Majestic Man and Brad Williamson beating stablemate Jen Jaccka and Matty Williamson
Photo Wayne Huddleston Wild Range Photography

For the past few years Oamaru trainer Phil Williamson has packed up his horses and set up at Cromwell for the duration of the Central Otago Harness Racing Circuit. He's dominated one race in particular – the Trotting Free For All at Omakau.

Since 2013 he's won the race six times and in yesterday’s feature he started three horses; Smokey Mac, Jen Jaccka and up and comer Majestic Man. It was the latter that came out on top.

Williamson said the win was a bit of a surprise for him.

“He’s a very nice horse but today was a bit of a step up. This was his first free for all type race. I didn’t really expect him to beat them. He’s in the zone, in form and has got the winning habit going.” 

Driver Brad Williamson sat the Majestic Son gelding parked for the first part of the journey. He moved him forward to the lead when stablemate Jen Jaccka started to progress forward realising she may well take the lead, which she did.

Jen Jaccka looked to have the race in safe keeping when she shot clear by three lengths with 300 metres to run but Brad Williamson didn’t panic and Majestic Man ground down a game Jen Jaccka to win by a neck.

“I knew it would be tough as Jen Jaccka has been really pleasing us of late.”

As a young horse Majestic Man progressed through age group racing at two and three.

“Last year he was running second to good horses at Group One level in races like the Derby.”

The only real blip on the radar last season was his performance in the Harness Jewels at Cambridge.

“He got a kick in the leg so that’s why he didn’t go any good in the Jewels. We had to treat him with a fair amount of antibiotics to clean up the injury. This year he’s come back bigger and better which we hoped he would and were just hoping he can improve more to get up to the very elite level.”

After yesterday's win Williamson will give the gelding a break as he plans his path to the Jewels at Addington.

“We are going to be a bit cautious with him. We’re Jewels bound and we won’t be doing too much racing in the interim. We’ll try and have him as good as we can for that race. He’ll have a freshener. He’s in great form at the moment and it seems a strange time to back off but you just can’t keep pushing the accelerator all the time.”       

The Trotting Free For All has been run twelve times since it started in 2008 and Oamaru trainer Phil Williamson has won the race six times – the last four on the trot.

His previous winners have been Alderbeck (2018), Monty Python (2017) and Springbank Sam (2013, 2014 and 2016).

“We get a great thrill out of winning any race. We try to have our horses at their best for these types of meetings. We plan to have our horses at their peak at Christmas time and at Cup time.”

Meanwhile another Williamson runner Shes Like The Wind won on debut at Omakau.


Shes Like The Wind winning in the Williamson colours - Photo Wayne Huddleston Wild Range Photography

By Majestic Son out of the Sundon mare Sun Mist the three year old filly was taken straight to the top by driver Matty Williamson winning by eight and three quarter lengths. His time from behind the mobile was 2-35.4 setting a new track record for three year old trotting fillies.

“Yeah good filly with potential there. We just have to work on gait. It’s just not 100% yet, it’s just on the bends. Some horses can trot the bend really fluently and with some it takes them more time to get confident with it. It’s just a matter of having more practice and we’ll see if she gets better or not but when she does she’ll be competitive to race in the nice three year old fillies races we’re hoping.”

Sun Mist is a daughter of champion mare Merinai which won nineteen races including a Rowe Cup and Dominion Handicap.

Sun Mist has been a great breeder for her Winton owner Michelle Caig, leaving Pretty Sunday the winner of fifteen races, Sonofearl which won twenty three and Rosemma which won eight.

Caig is presenting a quality Love You colt out of the mare at next month’s New Zealand National Standardbred Yearling Sales. 

Meanwhile the Mark Purdon Natalie Rasmussen trained Funatthebeach set a new track record when he won the McLarens Transport/RD Petroleum Trotting Cup.

His time for the 2000 metre mobile was 2-22.2.

The previous open track record was 2-25.8 recorded by Bettor Think Twice in 2015.


Funatthebeach winning the McLarens Transport/RD Petroleum Trotting Cup - Photo Wayne Huddleston Wild Range Photography

The New Zealand record for 2000 metres mobile of 2-21.8 is held by another Purdon runner Auckland Reactor. That was recorded in Auckland in 2008.

In today’s pacing feature driver Tim Williams didn’t get involved in the early rush with the Somebeachsomewhere gelding settling him at the tail of the field as Mossdale Rose, Queen Bee Bardon and

A G’s White Sock took turns at leading. When Letspendanitetogetha made a lightning move with 900 metres to run Funatthebeach hopped onto his back. At the 600 it became obvious the race winner was going to be either A G’s White Socks or Funatthebeach, but Funatthebeach was the bravest winning by half a length.

 

Bruce Stewart

 

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