Dont Ask delivers in style at Winton

By Jonny Turner

There weren’t just celebrations between trainer Alister Black and driver Matthew Williamson following Dont Ask’s impressive win at Winton yesterday.

The trotter produced one of the performances of the day as southern harness racing returned following its annual winter hiatus.

Dont Ask had been consistent through the autumn without producing the kind of sparkling performance she did yesterday.

Black put the effort down to him finding the key to keeping the mare calm before her race.

“We tried one of those (compression) hoods on her today and she got the job done,” the trainer said.

“She usually sweats up when she comes to the races but today she didn’t sweat up at all.”

Rugby league, rather than harness racing, was the subject of most of the chatter between Black and Williamson before and after Dont Ask’s win.

Black is a diehard New Zealand Warriors fan while Williamson supports the Parramatta Eels.

Black, sporting a Warriors polo, was quick to remind his driver of the difference between the form of the two sides over the weeks since the last southern harness meeting.

Snow and the closure of The Killmog meant Williamson missed out another winning drive at yesterday’s meeting.

Matthew, Brad and Phil Williamson’s runners were aboard their horse truck which was queued alongside other motorists awaiting the reopening of State Highway 1 outside of Dunedin yesterday.

They made it in time for race 3 with Matthew missing the winning drive behind High Intensity in race 1.

Brent Barclay picked up the winning drive which became the first leg of a winning treble for the reinsman.

Barclay helped Hunting Weight clear maidens in race 2 after running eight placings in her prior 24 starts.

The reinsman also made the most of his catch drive behind Life Of Art in yesterday’s feature pace.

The Amber Hoffman trained five-year-old swept home from off the pace in his impressive win in race 7.

Barclay was impressed with the way Life Of Art powered home from off the pace.

“Amber said to drive him with one run, I thought he was a little bit far back with the speed they went around the corner,” the reinsman said.

“But he picked them up really easily.”

Life Of Art has now won six of his 18 starts.

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