A spring in his step


Despite getting up early to make the trip to Invercargill, Phil Williamson will likely have a spring in his step on Saturday morning.

Because at Ascot Park, just before 2pm, he will roll out what he hopes is his next great trotter.

Davey Mac is a big, strapping son of Sundon who is only now ready to make his debut at age five.

He was bred by Williamson’s wife Bev and is named after Southland’s long-time race-caller Dave McDonald.

And it’s for that reason Williamson is taking the horse to Invercargill for his debut, despite there being a suitable race for him just up the road at Oamaru 24 hours later.

“I’d love for him to go great for Davey. That’s one of the reasons we went to Southland rather than race at our back door on Sunday,” said Williamson.

“It would be a thrill if he could win with Davey calling his namesake, and if he could do it at his first start it would be even better.”

Davey Mac is no ordinary horse, either – he’s pretty special.

“I’m excitedly looking forward to it because he does have good ability.

“Unfortunately he has drawn race-winners in his field, and they are usually hard to beat against maidens over 2200 metres.

“But he could be the exception to the rule in that he could give this race a bit of a hurry up. If his manners are in order, he’ll definitely be hard to beat.”

Local horse Ambro Ameigo will be a worthy adversary after his super run against race-winners at Winton.

He has always shown a good amount of ability for trainer Kath O’Connor and just needs to begin well to seriously threaten Davey Mac.

“He went 3.08 last time and that is no mean feat for a maiden trotter,” said Williamson.

“He has always looked quite capable and they’ve changed things around with his shoeing and he’s a lot better now.”

The key for Davey Mac will be his ringcraft because if he utilises it, he will win.

“It will simply come down to how good the manners are on the day with the big fella.

“If he does, it will take a pretty good run to beat him. I would say he’s a 90% chance of doing things right, though.”

Long term, Williamson expects the horse to perhaps be as good as his older brother, the Group One-winning Irish Whisper.

“He’s got a good horse’s ability. That’s how I would sum him up for the people who are wondering what sort of a prospect he is.”

The man who trained champion mare One Over Kenny and scores of other good horses, doesn’t speak out of turn regarding ability, so it would pay to take notice.

Davey Mac was actually ready to rumble at Christmas time, but a paddock accident led to a serious injury that put him on the sidelines for a number of months.

“He cut his leg quite badly and that meant having to put him aside. And being such a big guy, it’s taken such a long time to get him organised and ready for racing, so a setback like that was frustrating.

“He’s actually had any amount of little wee things go wrong along the way. But he has such good ability that he’s been worth waiting for.”

Davey Mac had a trial at Oamaru on September 9, where he defeated a few stablemates by a big stretch.

“He was pretty good. He did over-race a little bit but that’s what he does; it’s par for the course with him.”

Williamson takes five horses to Ascot Park and they are spread across just the two races.

He views the resuming Brads Kenny as the hardest of his trio to beat in the $10,000 R46 & faster trot.

“Brads Kenny should be a pretty good chance in the other race; he’ll go pretty well. He is one that might sneak under the guard being fresh-up.”

BEST BET: Davey Mac (R4)

LONGSHOT: Balius (R9)