Brad’s the Man

Brad’s the Man

Bruce Stewart

31st January 2021

Oamaru trotter Majestic Man and driver Brad Williamson finally got their Group One win last night when they won the TAB VL Dullard Trotters Cup at Melton Australia.

The Group One spotlight was always going to happen, it was just a matter of time.

Brad Williamson and Majestic Man after a win at Gore

In his forty nine start career Majestic Man has recorded two Group Two and three Group Three wins. He’s also had eight Group One placings and numerous other Group placings.

“It’s good for the syndicate that owns him. They raced Monty Python and a Group One win eluded him as well. He’s been so consistent throughout his career he really deserved it,” Williamson said.

Majestic Man is raced by the Griffins Syndicate and the Seafield Trotting Syndicate.

His time of 2-40.6 for the 2240 metre mobile was a track record bettering Keystone Del’s 2016 record by six tenths of a second.

The trip to Australia took meticulous planning by trainer Phil Williamson with Covid playing a major part but Brad knew when the gelding warmed up prior to last night’s trotting feature that he was ready to go.

“He was looking a million dollars. I was pretty confident after he warmed up. He felt the best he’s ever felt so I knew he was going to be pretty hard to beat.”

Williamson took Majestic Man forward from the barrier. He had no trouble reaching the front and there he stayed.

“That’s how he likes to race in New Zealand from behind the mobiles so it was good that he could foot it with them over here.”

The pair are based at Anthony Butt’s stable close to the Melton track where Majestic Man has settled in well.

“He’s the perfect horse to travel with because he settles in and eats up. He’s had a couple of years in that top grade and I feel he’s just starting to come into his best form.”

Williamson says he himself struggled with the high temperatures when he first arrived.

“The first night I arrived I couldn’t sleep; it was 38 degrees. I went to sleep in front of the air conditioning in the lounge. The day after it was 43 degrees.”

Their next target is the Great Southern Star in five days which is run in heats with the final on the same night. Williamson says it’s completely unknown whether Majestic Man will handle the short turn around between the heat and the final.

“We don’t know but it’s like that for a lot of the horses. Not many have raced under that format. You’d think they’d go 1-54 (mile rate) in both races so it’s certainly going to be a big test.”

Williamson says there’s a handful of good trotters in Australia at the moment who are expected to provide stern opposition in the Great Southern Star. They include Majestuoso, Dance Craze, Red Hot Tooth and former kiwi McLovin.

“They’ve all been waiting for the Southern Star so it’s not going to be easy.”

The Knight Pistol at Melton on 13th February, then the $100,000. Grand Prix a fortnight later on the 27th February also at Melton are two other targets for the gelding.

“Potentially he could race in a Group One Trot at Menangle on 6th March over a mile. That race is a ‘maybe’ because it’s pretty hard to plan that far ahead because of Covid.”

Williamson says he plans to return to New Zealand in the middle of March but will then have to quarantine for 14 days.

The win last night was the first Group One win for the young Oamaru reinsman and he joins his father Phil and brothers Nathan and Matty who’ve all reined Group One winners.

Phil has driven two Group One winners – Jasmyn’s Gift and Allegro Agitato while older brothers Nathan and Matty both have Group One wins on their CVs.

Nathan drove Springbank Richard and Jasmyn’s Gift in New Zealand and he also recorded a Group One win in Australia driving 2007 Victoria Trotting Derby behind Springbank Richard.

Matty’s three Group One winners are Luisanabelle Midfrew, Pembrooks Delight and Leighton Hest.

“I’m on the board so I’m pretty happy to be joining them.”

Although he wasn’t able to drive on Invercargill Cup Day yesterday he was able to watch his brother Nathan win the Invercargill Cup on Pembrook Playboy.

“It was good to see Nathan win the Cup. Alister Black had a good day and Matty won on a couple of what would be my drives so it was a good day for the team.”