Lightning Strikes Twice

Lightning Strikes Twice

Bruce Stewart

16th July 2020

There was a lot to like about American Lightning’s win at Ascot Park today.

The two year old colt not only beat older more seasoned rivals, but he had to be gutsy to withstand the serious challenge that was dished up to him.

From gate three driver Matthew Williamson pushed the colt forward and he lead into the first bend but had to be slapped up early to keep his mind on the job.

“He’s a pretty laid back horse who is better following other horses,” he said.

From there he took control of the early part of the race.

“Today was an average field and we had to give him a chance to lead and do the job. He’s better running off their backs.”

With just over a lap to run Brent Barclay speared Gomeo Denario forward and American Lightning was put under pressure, but Williamson said it didn’t seem to bother him.

“He’s never one to pull. He was still asleep then. It wasn’t really an attack that was worrying him.  I was happy for the other horse to sit there because it kept his mind on the job.”

At the 350 Williamson had a look round and saw that the field was battling behind him. At the top of the straight American Lightning was let go and he ran down to the line to beat the late finishing Toby O’Gara by two and a half lengths. The winning time of 2-43.8 was impressive for this time of year.

It was the American Ideal colt’s second win, both achieved at Ascot Park. His only other start was in the Kindergarten Stakes when he ran third – the race was won by First Class.

“He’s got nice speed and stamina. He’s got the makings of a good horse but he just needs to learn the game a wee bit. He’s a colt still and it’s just whether Graeme thinks he needs to lose his privileges (to be gelded). It might wake him up because he’s just a wee bit smart about things at the moment. He does what he has to rather than what he’s told.”

Meanwhile quality trotter Chinese Whisper finally did things right to win his third race in his short career so far.

The Sundon four year old has been getting things wrong this season. After a wee bobble and a skip, trainer driver Nathan Williamson got the talented trotter away wide out. Once he found his rhythm he took the gelding to the lead and there he stayed.

He trotted down to the line under a hold with his ear plugs still in place to beat Fanny Hill by four and three quarter lengths, running his last 800 metres in 57 seconds.

The Mitchell Kerr trained A Delightful Act easily won her race.

The Bettor’s Delight three year old filly beat Dream Of Glory by a length and a half.

If she’s to run in the rescheduled Southland Oaks she’ll need to start once more in the south over the next two weeks in order to earn enough stake money to run in the Group Three final.