Williamson’s Busy Week
8th November 2020
Branxholme trainer Nathan Williamson is in for a big week.
Pembrook Playboy and Andy Hall are his two starters for Cup Day in Christchurch on Tuesday, and Dark Horse, Franco Santino and Longueval will start on Show Day.
Giant trotter Andy Hall will run in the Hydroflow Handicap Trot a 3200 metre race, on Cup Day.
“He hit the line well in his first start and did much the same at Ashburton. He’s been going well and I think the two miles won’t worry him. He’s drawn handy and he doesn’t possess a lot of early speed but hopefully he ends up handy. I think he’s a top five chance.”
Pembrook Playboy represents the stable in the Group Three Junior Free For All and comes into the race with excellent form line, including a last start second to Burnham Boy in the Southern Supremacy Stakes.
“I thought it was one of his career best runs in the Supremacy. He was just beaten by a better horse on the day. He’s trained on well and I can’t see why he can’t run another good race. He seems happy in himself so we’ll go up there with a wee bit of confidence.”
On Show Day quality mare Dark Horse is down to start in the Group One $270,000 Majestic Son Dominion Handicap. The eight year old mare has been domiciled in Oamaru for the last month based at Williamson’s father Phil’s property.
“She trialled on Wednesday (Oamaru) and she went okay.”
Chinese Whisper will be missing from the carnival having been turned out for a short spell.
“I wasn’t happy with his run at Tuapeka and subsequently he hasn’t trained on so he’s in the spelling paddock. It’s just a couple of wee niggly things so we’re just backing off and reassessing things. He won’t have long off and we’ll look at Christmas racing. There’s no point in going up there if you’re 90%.”
Consistent entire Franco Santino will represent the stable in the Free For All on Show Day.
“We’re racing him on Friday rather than the Tuesday. On Friday it’s 1980 metres. He seems to be more of a speed horse and we’ve left the 2600 metre race on Tuesday for Pembrook (Playboy). He seemed to have come though his last race well and he’s in good form.”
Four year old Longueval will start in the highly competitive South of the Waitaki also run on Show Day.
“He’s a nice wee horse and he’s going to get a good draw so he’s going to get a run along the markers not doing too much. He’s a good follower of speed. He’ll be competitive but there’s one or two smarty’s that might be a bit good for him. If he can run a competitive race he could be attractive to buyers at Cup Week as the owners are looking to sell him on.”
Nathan also drives Majestic Man, one of the favourites in the New Zealand Trotting Free For All. He won this race driving Jasmyn’s Gift in 2006.