Happy hunting ground for Williams

NZ HARNESS NEWS

Alexandra Park has always been a happy hunting ground for Tim Williams, especially with grand mare Dream About Me.

They combined again on Friday night for another feature win, this time in the $30,000 Gr.3 Caduceus Club Northern Breeders Stakes.

It was the perfect lead-up for next week’s Group 1 Queen of Hearts, and Williams felt it would tighten her up nicely.

“I wouldn’t say she was a run short tonight, but she’s such a good doing horse it wouldn’t do her any harm.”

Dream About Me had to work a bit early to find the lead from the outside draw, but did manage a wee breather through the middle stages.

She only had to come home in 57.2 and 27.6 to hold out stablemate Elle Mac, who trailed, the big, strong mare’s speed a touch deceptive given her frame.

“I actually looked at the clock mid race and thought I better grip up as we were going a bit quick. Quicker than it felt,” said Williams.

“She’s just got such a nice high cruising speed, which is a good thing of course.”

Williams wasn’t done there, combining one race later to win the $30,000 Gr.3 Summer Cup with Ashley Locaz.

He’s another horse that Williams has combined well with in the past; they caused an upset in the Harness Jewels last year when he was a juvenile.

But a few setbacks at three meant the son of Bettor’s Delight only raced five times last term and thus has slipped under the radar a bit.

He won at Kaikoura last month and was nailed on the line by Elle Mac on Show Day at his most recent start before tonight’s win.

“He’s such a lovely horse; he just doesn’t know how to go a bad race.

“It’s always nice to win a race for his owners; I know he means a lot to them.

“They’ve just gotten a full sister out of the mare so it’s been a great week or two for them.”

Ashley Locaz is nominated for the Auckland Cup, as is Dream About Me, but Williams is unsure which one he’ll drive.

“That’s a decision for Mark and Natalie.”

Earlier in the night he partnered with last season’s Two-Year-Old Pacing Colt of the Year, Another Masterpiece, in what was his first run since the Breeders Crown in August.

He finished a length from the winner, his stablemate Jesse Duke, in a sprint home where they came 54.6 and 26.8 off the front.

“His last 100 metres was really good, I thought.

“He was first up since the Breeders Crown and hadn’t had a trial because they got cancelled due to the rain down south.

“They’ve gone a sub-55 half and he was doing his best work late so it was encouraging.

“He’ll improve a lot from that.”

The shock of the night came when unbeaten filly Princess Tiffany had her colours lowered for the first time, a tough trip seeing her finish only third.

She was posted three-wide for much of the trip in the hands of Purdon and was bested late by a fast-finishing Belle Of Montana and Zachary Butcher.

“Mark was really happy with her.

“She was caught wide on a 1.56 mile-rate and hadn’t a trial either.

“She’ll be a lot better next week.”

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