Ultimate – Strides into Jewels

Ultimate – Strides into Jewels

Bruce Stewart

22nd March 2021

Trainer Phil Williamson admits it’s been a bit of a battle to get Ultimate Stride into this season’s Harness Jewels but the win today at Ascot Park sealed the deal for the talented trotter.

“There’ve been a few little things that haven’t been right but he’s a very good horse,” he said after the entire won his eleventh race.

His form line this season has been very in and out and this has frustrated Williamson as he’s targeted the Harness Jewels.

“We’ve had a few changes with gear but it’s been mainly shoeing. We’ve tried to get him to race consistently rather than good today and not so good next week. He’s a lovely horse to do anything with. There’s just a level of frustration when you’re working him towards a race. One day he’ll be nice and relaxed and the next time he’ll be as keen as mustard. Then he runs in one week and then out the next so there’s always something happening.”

In today’s Ryal Bush Transport Handicap Trot the four year old began well from the forty metre mark. With 1800 metres to run driver Matty Williamson took Ultimate stride forward and 400 metres later he took over the role as pacemaker.

Ultimate Stride leads with a lap to run

With 600 metres to run Williamson opened the throttle and Ultimate Stride started to stretch out. Turning in he had six lengths on the chasing pack. Boyz Invasion finished the race off really well to get within three quarters of a length of Ultimate Stride.

At the finish

Back after win number eleven

Today’s win elevates Ultimate Stride into tenth position and he now looks certain for a start in the Group One $100,000 Garrard’s Horse and Hound Four Year Old Ruby at Cambridge in a fortnight.

“The travel won’t worry him. We’ll travel up and see how we get on with the big boys.”

Top qualifiers in the Ruby are Muscle Mountain and Bolt For Brilliance.

“Muscle Mountain is a star in the making who is probably a star now and Bolt For Brilliance is probably the same. This fella’s not too far behind them on sheer ability but it’s just the ring craft. The draw’s going to be crucial so with a good draw he’ll have his chance but it will also come down to manners on the day. He would be one of the better chances.”