Day At The Track

Zoey off to oaks

08:22 AM 26 Mar 2017 NZDT
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Zoey's Gift after winning at Winton
Photo - Bruce Stewart

Although trotter Zoey's Gift won impressively at Winton today her harness racing trainer Phil Williamson knows her next task is going to be harder.

The talented daughter of Muscle Yankee and Jasmyn's Gift has the Group Two $40,000 New Zealand Trotting Oaks next Friday at Addington on her radar. 

"It'll be difficult because they're good horses. She's definitely got the fire power there. If it was a mile and five (2600 metres) I'd be going there more confident but she's still not without a chance," he said. 

In today's race driver Matty Williamson didn't panic early when Zoey's Gift was posted wide. With 900 metres to run he took her to the lead and when the ear plugs came out halfway down the straight she won easily by two and a half lengths.  


"I was pretty confident that if she trotted she would win but it's never that simple. She's just got a wee bit of that class that stands her out from the rest." 

Williamson said the filly is relatively inexperienced but he wasn't too concerned about starting her against hardened older trotters. 

"I wasn't concerned at all. The Oaks is next week over 1950 (metres) and we wanted to have a wee crack at something short and sharp to get her ready. She's only had four races so she's still learning. She's a nice horse and will do a good job before she's finished," he added.

Zoey's Gift was bred by Phil's wife Bev and was bought by Emilio Rosati after she qualified. Her dam Jasmyn's Gift won seventeen races including the Group One New Zealand Trotting Free For All and New Zealand Trotting Championship.

"She's (Zoey's Gift) got that same good motor as her mother. It's been a good family. Directorship is from the same family and he was a very good horse."  

Williamson said although the filly is owned in Australia there are no plans at this stage to venture across the Tasman.  

"We'll have to be rock solid and beat the best here."


Bruce Stewart
Southland Harness Racing



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