Back In Stride

Back In Stride

Mac Henry

20th June 2020

Ten months after winning the group one Breeders Crown for two-year-old colts and geldings trotters at Melton, Ultimate Stride extended his winning picket line to five with a classy return to racing at Invercargill on Saturday.

Ultimate Stride – Photo – Monica Torretto

Four of those five wins were achieved in Australia, in July and August last year, two of them at the elite level, After that, the stylish colt returned safely to his trainer Phil Williamson’s Oamaru base.

But then trouble struck.

“He’d been in the paddock for a fortnight then we found him lame, it was a broken peddle bone,” Williamson explained.

“He had a number of x-rays and it was about six months before we could work him again.”

The son of Love You and champion mare One Over Kenny was back at the trials on 23 May, the first of three before his raceday return.

“We gave him a long slow preparation, wanted him well grounded before racing,” said Williamson. “I was thrilled with the run, to go 2:47 with plugs in. He’s pulled up well, that’s what naturally talented horses can do. ”

Ultimate Stride was driven by Matthew Williamson who took him forward off the mobile arm. Reaching the front within 400 metres, they controlled play from then on and scored by two and three quarter lengths.

The time of 2-47.4 was a new track and Southland record for three year old trotting colts or geldings erasing War Admiral 2018 record of 2-48.0.

“He went lovely, a soft kill to start off with, its good to have him back,” Matthew said.”

As to the future, Phil Williamson said nothing is set in concrete. The rescheduling of some of the age group features will ensure Ultimate Stride is not short of rich opportunities on this side of the Tasman. However Williamson ruled out any attempts in the short term to improve his record in Australia as the colt’s owners, Emilio and Mary Rosati have another quality three-year-old Elite Stride to cover those options

Earlier in the day, Phil and Matt Williamson scored with another promising trotter Miss Crazed. The three-year-old filly became the fifth individual New Zealand winner by the international sire Crazed. She is the first foal of Miss Pegasus (Pegasus Spur – Merinai) who was trained by Phil Williamson for most of her career. Among the nine wins of Miss Pegasus was one at Ascot Park in 2013.

“Miss Pegasus had a lovely nature and nice all round game,” he said. “Miss Crazed is a nice filly to work with but not quite as sensible, she did alright today so it shows she is going the right way.”

The winner of a six-horse trial in May broke at Addington on debut and again at Ascot Park a fortnight ago, although a massive run saw her get up to grab second.

“She broke her first two starts, that was inexperience, I’m not saying it won’t happen again, she needs more practice so we will keep racing her,” Williamson remarked.

He commented that Miss Crazed was on the big size as a juvenile and didn’t race at two, but could have been an Oaks filly at three and will win more races.