Forbury doyen scores goodbye win
By Jonny Turner
Forbury Park stalwart Ray Hanson continued a thirty five year association with the Williamson family with the win of Dem Bones Dem Bones on her home track last night.
A perfectly patient Nathan Williamson drive helped the grey trotter have the last say in race 7 to hand Hanson a victory in one of the final meetings before Forbury Park’s closure early next month.
Hanson produced the first victory of his training career at the Dunedin track in 1986 when Nathan’s father Phil Williamson drove Our Choice to win in August of 1986.
“It is a dream come true to get another win before the track closes,” the trainer said.
“I am really looking forward to the next two weeks, it is what Forbury Park is all about.”
“I always said she’s the best horse I’ve had, but with our training situation she has been working on her own all the time.”
“She has had to go to the races to get experience.”
Hanson has been involved in harness racing for 52 years and took out his training licence in 1981 after owning several horses.
Hanson spent 20 years training at Smaills Beach at the property of former Forbury Park Trotting Club president and life member, the late Fergus Matheson.
Hanson then shifted his team to Forbury Park, where they will be stationed until its closure as a racing venue on July 9.
Dem Bones Dem Bones is bred and raced by her trainer with longtime stable supporter Ken Campbell and Canterbury harness racing administrator Barry Dent.
“I bred her mother and her grandmother, so I have had a bit of time with the breed,” Hanson said.
Svelt ran second to the Hanson trained mare for driver Brad Williamson to produce a Williamson quinella on a night of domination by the Oamaru brothers.
There was simply no stopping the combination of Nathan, Brad and Mathew Williamson, who went on a six-race winning run.
Matthew started his family’s half-dozen of victories when driving Count Eyre to win race 2 before notching two more wins, which brought up the first winning double from his Oamaru stable.
Nathan also drove three winners and while Brad Williamson didn’t make the winner’s circle his third placing with Kerala Star helped the Williamson brothers fill the trifecta in race 6.
The race was won by the Nathan Williamson trained and driven Ah Mach, who sprinted along the passing lane to beat Who’s Smokin.
Nathan also scored with the Adrian Wohlers trained Denn Nee’s Sister in race 3.
Matthew sealed his stable’s first when Boarding Call completed a hat-trick of wins in race 6 with Boarding Call.
The first leg of the trainer’s winning double was registered when Von Art took out race 4.
Matthew gave both of his horses perfect trips with Von Art trailing the leader and Boarding Call sitting in the one-one before she unleashed a powerful winning burst.
It took a stunning performance from Lucca in race 9 to end the Williamson brothers’ winning run.
The Brent White trained two-year-old shrugged off the extra work he did when caught three wide for the first lap of his 2200m debut to deliver a powerful win.
The pacer added another win to the long list of winners his owners Graeme Anderson and Brian Sceats have had at Forbury Park.