Pembrook Playboy In ‘The Race’

Pembrook Playboy In ‘The Race’

Bruce Stewart

25th February 2022

Pembrook Playboy will represent Southland in the $900,000 “The Race” at Cambridge on 14th April.

The Race concept is based around individuals, groups or companies buying a slot in the event on a three year contract. Their investment provides The Race with its funding and each slot holder then goes about getting a horse to represent them in The Race.

“It’ll be exciting, and being the inaugural running they’ll put a whole heap of promotion into the day,” said Pembrook Playboy’s trainer Nathan Williamson.

Waikato based Dunstan Horse Feeds have purchased one of the nine slots and they went early in selecting Southland pacer Pembrook Playboy to represent them in April’s feature.

“They’ve been great and really wanted to get behind Southland racing. It’s great that they’ve chosen him. Hopefully he can run a good race for them.”

Prepared at Branxholme by Williamson, Pembrook Playboy starts his buildup for the big challenge by running against a handful of Open Class pacers at Ashburton on Saturday, and Williamson says the field is a strong one.

On Wednesday morning Southern Harness Website was at Branxholme when Williamson worked the entire over 2400 metres with a galloping pacemaker, running the distance in 3-16 with the last 800 in 60 seconds.

“That’s pretty good on my track. He doesn’t inspire you with his work. He runs in and out and all over the show and only does what he has to. I was happy with his work. He’s bright.”

Heading out from the barn

Down to the track

Warming up

Working behind the galloping pace maker

All done

Pembrook Playboy will face the likes of Spankem and Better Twist and hardened war horse Classie Brigade.

“I think he’ll be up for the challenge. On his best day he’s pretty smart. He’s drawn inside a couple of good ones so hopefully he can scoot out of the gate and get a nice spot.”

The Ashburton race is over 1609 metres.

“He’s pretty adaptable. Generally I don’t train them a lot of miles and get them too reved up.”

After Ashburton Williamson plans to give Pembrook Play a freshener and look at some feature races at the end of March and early April at Addington.

“We’ll see how he goes on Saturday and evaluate it one week at a time.”

The plan is to have Pembrook Playboy spending most of April and May in the north.

“I’m booked in to stay with Andrew and Lyn Neal and obviously there’s some feature racing coming up in Auckland after The Race. The horse will probably stay up there for about six weeks or so and his last start before winter will be in the Auckland Cup at the end of May. The Neals have got an awesome property and the horse settled in well the last time we were up there.”

The Southern Harness website will follow Pembrook Playboy all the way to the big feature with regular reports on his progress and post race comments and thoughts from trainer/driver Nathan Williamson as they plot a path to the April feature.

The Race

Date: Thursday April 14, 2022

Venue: Cambridge Raceway

Distance: 2200m

Stake: $900,000

Gait: Pace

Age: 3YO+

Class: FFA

Preferential Draw: 3YOs then Mares