Empire City strikes In Classique

By Mike Love 

Oamaru trainer Phil Williamson was pleased but by no means surprised when Empire City was simply too good for her rivals in yesterday's listed Macca Lodge Sires’ Stakes Fillies Classique at Ashburton.

“The draw was my main concern. But I'm scared of nothing as far as the fillies go. She’s as good as any of them,” said Williamson.

The Volstead filly had to avoid an early galloper at the dispatch before settling at the rear for driver Ricky May. May eased off the rail at the 1000m, before tracking into the race three and four wide from the 400m, picking them up short of the line to beat Judy J by 1 ¼ lengths.

“She’s a good filly for sure! Beautiful gait.”

The daughter of Volstead was a lucky gain for Williamson due to a withdrawal from the sales.

“She was supposed to go to the sales but was withdrawn, so they decided to leave her here with me. Matthew (Williamson) broke her in and liked her from day dot.”

Empire City will look to the Ace of Hearts on grand prix day at Addington.

“We’ll head to the big race in December. She is also Sires Stakes paid up, so we will reassess things then.”

It was her second win in four starts after winning on debut at Addington in June.

Williamson heads to Addington today with four runners, three of which are in the Renwick Farms Dominion Trot. Cup day winner Love N The Port has come through the week well, and Williamson expects the Love You gelding to give a good account today.

“He’s eaten up good, seems good, I’m happy with him. Muscle Mountain is a scary task but you can’t win if you don’t try!”

Love N The Port, the Rowe Cup winner, is the most favoured of the three Williamson runners at $18, with Majestic Man at $31 and Jimmy Carter at $61.

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