High five for Williamson at Winton
By Jonny Turner
A training masterclass at Winton yesterday propelled Nathan Williamson to what may prove to be an unassailable lead in the Southland trainers premiership.
Williamson enjoyed his most successful day as a trainer yet, producing five winners while guiding them all to victory from the sulky, too.
“I've trained and driven four of my home ones before, but never this many, so it is a real thrill to win this many in one day,” the trainer-driver said.
The swag of winners came with a nice bonus, they took Williamson from three behind Craig Ferguson in the Southland trainers premiership to one in front.
“Craig has had a super year, and it is a bit of a shame because he has been in front throughout the year.”
“If I take it off him, but we are going to win as many as we can, we are coming down to the end of it now, and I have probably got the horse numbers, but it could be close.”
Williamson plans to line up as many as eight horses at next week’s Group 1 Invercargill Cup Day before taking a similar number to the final Southland meeting of the season at Gore the following week.
Ferguson could have just one horse starting between the two meetings, with a number of his horses enjoying a freshen up.
Williamson’s winning run at Winton started with a hard-fought win from Major Envy who had to work hard in the early stages of race 1.
Joeking was on his best behaviour to take out race 2 in the Williamson colours before Miraculous produced a sparkling performance to win race 4.
When quizzed on whether the two-year-old could race in feature events for his age-group, Williamson didn’t hesitate when saying yes.
“I've been really happy with the way he's been doing everything at home and progressing.”
“Although he was pretty green on the front end today, he was impressive when I asked him.”
“He's a very progressive horse; I really like him.”
“We do have a bit of time for him, so we'll take him into Invercargill next week and see what is there as far as the two old boys and then, maybe give him a freshen up.”
“He's definitely on a path to (Southern) Supremacy or maybe we might have to look elsewhere.”
Williamson’s winning run continued when he produced Ruby Roe for a track-record-breaking win in race 6 before Itoje ran away from his rivals to take out race 8.