Dancing on The Big Stage

 Dancing on The Big Stage

Bruce Stewart

13th November

Get Up N Dance underlined his potential when he thrashed a couple of good pacers at Addington yesterday.

The win by the Rock N Roll Heaven also went some way to heal the disappointment of having to scratch Pembrook Playboy from Tuesday’s New Zealand Cup.

Get Up N Dance cruising down to the line to win the Show Day Futurity – Picture Race Images

Despite finishing seventh at the Kaikoura meeting at the beginning of the month and hanging during that run Williamson wasn’t too concerned with Get Up N Dance going into yesterday’s Futurity.

“The horse can be like that and could have been like that yesterday if he’d drawn one. He’s just not the type of horse that likes going inside other horses – he gets claustrophobic. We did make a couple of changes and we took him out to Regan (Todd’s) place at the beach for the week. I think he did benefit from that,” Williamson said.

It was tough going working around the field early from a wide draw, before Get Up N Dance took on Socrates for the lead. And the next challenge wasn’t too far away as Romeo Shard got into the race inside the last 1000 metres. However Williamson wasn’t handing up. The best three horses; Get Up N Dance, Romeo Shard and Socrates then started to gap the rest of the field. Williamson let Get Up N Dance run when he turned for home, and he pulled away from the challengers.

“He went really good. We set him for that race. That’s been our plan ever since we took him up there in the winter.”

The winning margin was four and a quarter lengths and the time for the 2600 metre mobile was a very creditable 3-07.0. The national record over that distance for three-year-olds is 3-05.4 held by Sheriff.

“He’s a nice horse with a good motor but he probably needs to keep improving to get up to the real better ones. I think he’s a handy Country Cup horse through the summer.”

Williamson trains Get Up N Dance for breeders Dayle and Kay Kinzett. The gelding has now won four of his nine starts.

“He’s got a bit of speed, but his gait needs to improve to handle his speed.”

Nathan being congratulated by his Dad Phil after the win  –  Picture Race Images

The Branxholme trainer’s Dominion Handicap runner Andy Hall also performed with credit, finishing seventh in the Group One trotting feature in which winner Sundees Son smashed the New Zealand record for 3200 metres. It’s the first time the four-minute barrier has been broken in New Zealand Trotting history. Sundees Son’s new record time is 3-56.6. Andy Hall ran the journey in 4-00.2.

“He went four minutes so you couldn’t say that wasn’t a pretty good run. He lost a wee bit of momentum round the last bend and lugged in. I also got caught behind a horse that was stopping.”

Williamson says Andy Hall has the potential to compete at this level next season.

“He’s a good staying type. Last year he won on Cup Day running 4-07, and this year he ran 4-00 (for the 3200 metres). If he improves the same in the next twelve months we’ll be looking all right (smile). As I’ve said, I haven’t been able to train and work him the way I’d like to this season because he’s been light in condition. I’ll sit down and talk to Ian (owner Ian Hunter), but I’d like to give him a really good break and let him strengthen up and target those good races next year.”

Andy Hall

Williamson says the group of trotters racing now, is exemptional.

“They’re some of the best we’ve ever seen. They can run hard and keep running hard. Sundees Son just has a huge amount of stamina and now he’s got his manners sorted, he’s just the professional. Bolt For Brilliance’s run yesterday was also enormous so it makes it all exciting.”

Meanwhile Williamson Cup Class pacer Pembrook Playboy is getting on the float on Wednesday and heading home with the rest of the Williamson team.

Pembrook Playboy unfortunately had to be scratched from the Cup after he injured himself in the paddock just one day prior to the momentous race. He’s been held at the Vet clinic since.

“There’s no damage to his leg which is good. He’s just torn some muscles up high. He must have done the splits. It was pretty frustrating because it’s the wrong time of year to be doing that.”

Williamson said long term the injury won’t be a problem.

“The vet says give him a fortnight off for a start, but I’ll talk to Chris (owner Chris Alcock) to work out a bit of a plan. It might be good to give him a decent break because he’s never had one. He only had three weeks off after the Jewels and Uncut Gems. We’ll look at when there’s suitable races for him and work from there. I’d like to let him furnish right out if I could. That’s my thinking at this stage.”

Pembrook Playboy

Tisbury trainer Kirstin Barclay trained and reined her second winner in as many years in the Macca Lodge South of the Waitaki race at Addington.

Despite having to contend with a second row draw Barclay was able to lead and then trail, before letting Tommy Waterhouse run up the passing lane to beat favourite Idealism by a head.

Tommy Waterhouse winning on the inside from Idealism

Kirstin Barclay – a winning smile

It was a great tactical drive by Barclay. The three-year-old is owned by Te Anau horseman Wayne McEwan.