Gazza Win Gold Chip
The $12,000 Aldebaran Park Gold Chip Trot Final was taken out by Gazza Galleon at just his fifth start. The Majestic Sun three-year-old is trained at Oamaru by Phil Williamson and raced by a couple of his loyal owners Bill Stevenson and Neville McNee. Matthew Williamson was driving the colt for just the second time, having handled him on debut in his one and only juvenile start.
“He went good but galloped,” Matthew said, “this season Dad had been on in all his starts, to teach him, because of his greenness. He’s got ability but needs time to get stronger, he’s not strong to look at yet.”
Gazza Galleon holds out Christmas Babe -Photo Bruce Stewart
Heading back – Photo Bruce Stewart
Winning connections – Photo Bruce Stewart
Saturday’s Cruickshank Pryde Handicap Pace wasn’t a Country Cup’s qualifier but Vintage Cheddar used it to prove he is still in the running for the absolute title. Starting from 15 metres behind, he sat parked throughout and won the 2700 metre contest in 3:23.1
Vintage Cheddar’s trainer Alister Black labelled the Country Cups series as the Lindsay and Ian Thompson-owned four-year-old’s immediate project.
“He’s second on the table, we might not be able to catch Sagwitch but we’ll make a race of it,” said Black. “He’s honest and genuine, has got speed, and showed today he has plenty of toughness. But he’ll be five next year that might be his year.”
Two races remain in the series, next week’s Winton Cup and the Diamond Day Cup at Ascot Park a fortnight later which carries double points. Sagwitch heads the table with 73 points with Vintage Cheddar, together with Royal Bengal, second on 38.