Brilliant bolt in emotional Jewels win
By Jonny Turner and Garrick Knight
Tony Herlihy produced a highly appropriate drive with his ice-cold steer in ice-cold Addington conditions when Bolt For Brilliance stormed home to win the 2YO Ruby at the Harness Jewels.
The trainer-driver known as ‘The Iceman’ perfectly placed the two-year-old in the one-one, before launching a big finish to claim his maiden win in the group 1 event.
Herlihy and his Muscle Hill trotter tracked the favourite, Ultimate Stride after they were left parked by Cracker Hill and Brad Williamson.
The champion reinsman admitted he was slightly surprised he was left with such a sweet run when Ultimate Stride could not cross Cracker Hill.
“I thought Nathan was going to go on to the front,”
“To be fair, though, the track is probably a little bit better one out.”
“So, we certainly got a nice run.”
Bolt For Brilliance had failed to fire in his past two starts in the Sires Stakes and Yearling Sales Finals.
The two-year-old upped his game and showed he was ready to fire on Jewels day with a smart trial performance at the Harness Jewels Trials, last weekend.
“He has just made those couple of mistakes the last couple of times, here, when he could have been in the money,” Herlihy said.
“He has got good ability.
“He will go for a break now and whatever he does after this he will be better.”
Brad Reid, a young breeder who borrowed the mare Toomuch To Do to breed Bolt For Brilliance, was an emotional man after the race.
“I’ve never cried on track before, but I did today. Unreal, unreal.”
“If I can say anything to anyone, don’t be afraid to go with your gut.
“She was a 19-year-old mare who hadn’t left a winner.”
Reid named the horse after a nude streak he once did across the Basin Reserve in Wellington.
Cracker Hill looked set for victory early in the home straight, but could not hold off the well-timed finish of Bolt For Brilliance.
Trainer-driver Brad Williamson said he was proud of his horse’s effort, but was disappointed victory was snatched for them in the final strides of the race.
“It was a huge run, I am proud of the horse, but I am gutted with the result.”
“He had it all bar at the post, he kicked well at the top of the but just got tired, which is understandable after doing that early work.”
The Williamson family filled second and third placings when Ultimate Stride rallied for third.
Driver Nathan Williamson said the trotter trained by his father, Phil, never felt at his best at any stage of the race.
“I thought he was just average.”
“He couldn’t get out of the gate and he didn’t trot that nice.”