Kiwitrix A Chip off The Old Block
31st December 2020
Manners were the key to the Gold Chip Final at Winton today.
On one hand favourite Love N The Port broke and missed his chance to win, and on the other, Kiwitrix was on his best behaviour.
Kiwitrix warming up – Photo Bruce Stewart
It was a quick turnaround for Kiwitrix who was pulled up after breaking at Gore four days ago.
“He was down on the inside and hit a bit of a soft patch and didn’t enjoy it,” said trainer driver Nathan Williamson.
After sitting fourth early in the running Williamson progressed forward to take the lead with a lap to run, while Love N The Port was making up lost ground.
“I wasn’t aware of where he was but I did have a look round once I got to the lead at the 1000 and I couldn’t see him. That was quite good because I expected him to be around if he was trotting.”
As Kiwitrix headed for home Williamson hardly had to move and he trotted to the line faultlessly to win by two and three quarter lengths from Miss Crazed. Both Love N The Port and Aveross Majesty stormed home late.
“I was pretty impressed with him today. He felt a lot sharper and he’s starting to switch on.”
Kiwitrix beating his rivals in the Gold Chip Final – Photo Bruce Stewart
The close up action – Photo Bruce Stewart
Sponsor Michelle Caig, Nichol Gray, Dave Henley, Kiwitrix and Nathan Williamson.
Dave Henley, Michelle Caig and Nicol Gray with the Jimmy Dillion trophy won by Kiwitrix – Photo Bruce Stewart
The key to the four year old’s improved performances this season have been the inclusion of half-hopples along with other minor gear changes.
“He doesn’t concentrate that well. I put a blind on his other side today to go with the Murphy Blind. He loses focus at times so the half-hopples help him focus. At Tuapeka he led early and went off stride early for no reason. He’s a big green horse and we won’t see the best of him until another twelve months.”
Williamson says the half-hopples will eventually come off.
“He can work as well as anything at home without them. The half hopples will come off again but not just yet.”
The Gold Chip Series which give horses the chance to qualify for a $12,000 final is in its third season.
“It’s a great concept. Dad’s good trotters were in today and I’ve always tried to support it. It helps those progressive horses. The rating system looks after the older horses. The Nuggets, The Ladyship and The Gold Chip series are important for Southland. Clark Barron came up with the concepts and I’m right behind them.”
Kiwitrix was bred by Williamson, Brian McCully and Hugh Catto.
McCully raced her dam Kylie Ree which won four of her eleven starts including the Group One Harness Jewels Two Year Old Ruby and the Group Three Hambletonian at Ashburton.
As a broodmare Kylie Ree has an impressive CV, having left five foals of racing age, all of whom have been winners, including She’s Allthe Craze, the winner of eight races and the highly promising Son Of Patrick which was placed in the Harness Million 1 Trot his season.
Katie Williamson, McCully and Catto own one of Kylie Ree’s daughters Hawaiian Hula. She showed a lot of promise as a young horse but unfortunately injury curtailed her career.
Today’s win was Kiwitrix’s fourth in seventeen starts. He’s owned by Katie Williamson, her parents Ross and Robyn Jones, Nicol Gray, Dave Henley and the Triple R Sulkys Syndicate which is made up of members of the Riversdale Senior Rugby team.
Williamson now moves his focus to Omakau on Saturday where he has Pembrook Playboy in the Free For All.
“I’m really happy with him. He’s fresh so anything he does he’ll improve on. I’m pretty happy with his training so he’ll be pretty hard to beat. It’s a small field so it’ll be interesting to see how things pan out, but I’m very confident with him.”
Quality three year old Croesus returns to the track in the R40-R54 Junior Drivers race after a short break. He’ll be driven by stable junior Ollie Kite.
“He’s fresh and he’s had a couple of workouts that have just been okay. He’s got a good draw so hopefully he can use it. I think he’s good enough to win.”
Dark Horse runs in the main trotting race of the afternoon and she too faces a small quality field.
“She’s racing really well. She’s got a tricky draw which will make it more difficult but it’s not a big field so that’s a real assist for her. If there’s a heap of pace on I think she’ll be running on at the finish.”