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.”