‘The complete and utter history’ of Monty Python
Saturday 4th April 2020
“He was a nice horse from day dot. He always had ability, was nice to work with and had a good all round game.” This is how trainer Phil Williamson summed up the career of recently retired open class trotter Monty Python when spoken to today.
The veteran of 119 starts has been a great example of trotting longevity, racing over eight seasons for Williamson and The Griffins Syndicate.
“He hasn’t had a single injury as I can recall, and he retired sound, and he’s running round like a gazelle.”
Over eight seasons of racing the Pegasus Spur gelding earned a tick over $300,000.
“He probably wasn’t a star but ran against some stars and he beat a lot of them on occasions.”
I asked Williamson what Monty Python’s career highlights were for him.
“His Group One efforts for third in two Dominions and second in a Rowe Cup. I think being three quarters of a lengths behind Speeding Spur – that was a terrific effort considering he didn’t like the Auckland way round.”
The ten year old has been retired to a large dairy farm south of Oamaru, twenty minutes from the Williamson stable.
“He’s on a nice big farm and with a farmer that has two or three other horses. He was galloping round the hill as we let him go on a 100 acre block so he’s got the good life. Being on a dairy farm he’ll have good pasture. Whether they try to get on him to ride remains to be seen. He’ll probably be fine with that as he’s a big strong horse.”
Monty Python winning the Southern Lights 2017
Williamson has a half-brother to Monty Python in the stable. He’s a three year old by Quaker Jet and he too is owned by the Griffins Syndicate along with the Seafield Trotting Syndicate.
“He’s a very big horse needing time. He’ll win races but he’s not of the same quality of Monty Python. He’s okay though.”
Williamson says the Griffins Syndicate has been one of the luckiest syndicates he knows.
“They’ve had a run of pretty nice horses. They’ve been blessed alright.”
“Monty’s” fact sheet
Monty Python: 2009 bay gelding by Pegasus Spur fourth foal out of Juliana (Sundon)
Born: 13th December 2009
Breeders: Keith and Bevan Grice
Lessee: Griffins Syndicate, R I McIntosh, G L McIntyre (as at 24-12-2019)
Trainer: Phil Williamson
Qualified: Oamaru 8th September 2012 winning by two lengths.
Lifetime record: 119-15-17-21 $300,592
Wins: New Zealand (12) and Australia (3)
Biggest paydays: 2018 Rowe Cup –second ($25,500), 2017 Dominion Handicap – third ($20,590) and 2019 Dominion Handicap – third ($20,590)
First win: Winton 27th February 2013
Last win: Gore 8th February 2020
Biggest winning streak (4): November 2014 – January 2015.
Biggest season: 2019 39-6-1-9 $161,604
Biggest winning margins: Ascot Park – August 2015 (nine and half lengths), Ascot Park -November 2014 (nine and a quarter lengths), and Winton February 2013 (six lengths- first win)
Biggest handicap win: (55 metres) Gore February 2020 (last win)
Winning drivers: Brad Williamson (8), Matty Williamson (6), Chris Alford (3) and Gavin Laing (1)
Group wins and placings New Zealand:
- 3rd 2016 Group Three Summer Trotting FFA at Addington
- 1st 2017 Group Three Southern Light at Ascot Park
- 3rd 2017 Group Three DG Jones Memorial at Bank Peninsula
- 3rd 2017 Group One Dominion Handicap at Addington
- 2nd 2018 Group One Rowe Cup at Alexandra Park
- 2nd 2018 Group Three DG Jones Memorial at Banks Peninsula
- 3rd 2019 Group One Dominion Handicap at Addington
Groups wins and placings Australia
- 3rd 2018 Group One Interdominion Trotting Championship at Melton
- 3rd 2019 Group Three Cobram Trotters Cup
- 3rd 2019 Group Two South Australian Trotters Cup
- 1st 2019 Group Three Cranbourne Trotters Cup
- 1st 2019 Group Three Horsham Trotters Cup
Ascot Park and Southland Track Records:
- Ascot Park: 2700 metre stand for four year old and older entires and geldings (3-26.3) 30th January 2016.
- Ascot Park: 3200 metre stand for four year old and older entires and geldings (4-06.6) 12th March 2017.
Best tracks by wins:
- Addington (5)
- Ascot Park (4)
- Winton, Gore and Omakau (1 at each)
Monty Python winning his last race at Gore earlier this season