Funathebeach scorches at Omakau

NZ HARNESS NEWS

Funatthebeach had a party of his own on the Omakau sand with a track-record breaking win in the Group 3 $30,000 Central Otago Trotting Cup on Wednesday.

The Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen-trained pacer produced a sustained finish off a hot early speed to win the 2000m feature for driver Tim Williams. 

A track record was likely to fall in the race given the Central Otago Trotting Cup had this year reverted to 2000m from 2600m. 

It looked at short odds to get smashed 400 metres after the start following a duel for the lead between Mossdale Rose and Queen Bee Bardon.

Queen Bee Bardon trailed early before going around to the front and handing up to A G’s White Socks.

Williams sat off that hot speed and when it eventually slackened in the back straight he and Funatthebeach surged in to the race. 

“I was quite happy to be sitting off that speed, he doesn’t have high gate speed so he was going to be going back anyway.”

Once in to the straight, the event turned in to a carbon copy of Funatthebeach’s Ashburton Cup win where he sat parked for victory. 

Though there was one difference – this time it was even easier.

“It was easy enough at the line,” Williams said.

Funatthebeach looks to have taken his game to new levels over the Christmas and New Year period with his dual cup success.

Williams said the horse had, but it was also a case of him benefiting from having plenty of hard racing behind him.

“He has got that real race fitness behind him now.”

A G’s White Socks stuck on bravely for second placing and went down by half a length at the line.

Sheriff produced his best effort of his horror four-year-old season when sticking on for third placing.

Funatthebeach stopped the clock at 2.22.2 for the 2000m event.

He took took 2.9 seconds off the previous all comers track record set by Torrid Bromac in 2016. 

Though narrowly beaten in the feature race with A G’s White Socks, the Greg and Nina Hope stable enjoyed another great day out at a Southern race meeting over the festive period.

One Over Da Skye backed up her win at Winton on Monday with an even more impressive victory on Wednesday.

Kendra also ran to her second consecutive victory when beating a handy field over a smart field.

Much of the remainder of the Omakau card turned in to the Williamson show.

Trainer Phil Williamson and driver Brad Williamson combined to take the meeting’s feature trot with Majestic Man.

The former Group 1 performer helped his chances of returning to this season’s Harness Jewels with a win that looked easy at the winning post.

Driver Matthew Williamson scored three wins at the Omakau meeting with Shes Like The Wind, Sounds Bettor and Tom Rule

Nathan Williamson added to his family’s haul with a training victory with The Ambassador.

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