Pembrook Playboy Star On Cup Day

Pembrook Playboy Star On Cup Day

Bruce Stewart

30th January 2021

Pembrook Playboy’s star is well and truly on the rise.

With two Group wins in his last two starts he’s already being talked about as a potential New Zealand Cup runner next season.

Pembrook Playboy warming up – Photo Bruce Stewart

After a great beginning in today’s Ascot Park Hotel Invercargill Cup Nathan Williamson settled the entire in third place as Franco Santino took over the pacemakers role.

With 1600 metres to run Williamson came off the inside running line and took Pembrook Playboy to the front.

“I thought the opportunity was there to take the lead and then they have to come and get you. He’s never been beaten when he’s been in front. He travelled lovely throughout and dropped the bit when he got to the lead. I think it was the right move,” Williamson said.

Pembrook Playboy leading with a lap to run – Photo Bruce Stewart

Henry Hubert began to put pressure on Pembrook Playboy inside the last 600, and the second favourite The Fixer was on Henry Hubert’s back.

Williamson had a quick peek inside the last 400 metres knowing  his horse was still travelling well within himself. Driven out,  Pembrook Playboy responded.

“He actually pulled up in the home straight. He just knocked off once he sprinted clear. Luckily he’s so quick he put a bit of a gap on them and he was good enough to hold on.”

Pembrook Playboy stretching out to win the Invercargill Cup – Photo Bruce Stewart

The winning time was 3-20.2 just outside Robyns Playboy’s track record of 3-19.8. The time was a new race record, bettering Dadndave’s 3-22.9 recorded last season. This is the second year the race has been run over 2700 metres.

The closing splits 54.4 from the 800 metres, and 26.3 from the 400 metres, made it too hard for his rivals to chase him down.

The Fixer got closest, a length and a quarter away in second, with Henry Hubert another length and a half away for third.

Back to the winners circle – Photo Bruce Stewart

The win was the first for a Southland trained horse since 2016 when Costa Del Magniifico won the feature.

“It was a massive thrill winning the race. I’ve made Southland my home for the last ten, twelve years. I’ve always thought it’s the biggest race in our province to win,” said Williamson.

Chris Alcock holding the Invercargill Cup with Chairman of the ILT Alan Dennis – Photo Bruce Stewart

Williamson, who only arrived home from driving at Addington at 4.00am this morning says Pembrook Playboy has grown up in the last few months and backing him up after his Central Otago win was not a problem.

“He’s so much more mature now. Since Cup Week he’s come on leaps and bounds. I’m looking forward to giving him a few more trips away.  He’s definitely a better horse than he was three months ago.”

Pembrook Playboy is owned by Chris Alcock and has now won eight of his fifteen starts and has banked over $80,000.

Williamson says the horse will start next in the $30,000 Group Three Summer Cup at Addington in a fortnight. The race is run over 1950 metres under free for all conditions. His travelling companion will be Ragazzo Mach who will line up in the Listed Woodlands Stud Sires Stakes Harness 7000. It’s  worth $40,000.