Matty Williamson hits 50 as trainer
By Jonny Turner
On the day the sale of Forbury Park was announced, two of the tracks’ biggest achievers were in the winner’s circle much further south at Ascot Park.
Matthew Williamson, who drove more than 200 winners at Forbury Park before its closure, enjoyed a perfect day out as a trainer with his two Ascot Park starters.
The Oamaru horseman produced Haley Robyn and Majesdix to score, while also doing the driving behind both horses.
Williamson followed in the footsteps of his brothers Nathan and Brad and father Phil when reaching 50 training wins.
The trainer was thrilled to reach the milestone, but he was quick to thank those around him for their help in achieving it.
“It is definitely a thrill, I have a lot of people to thank,” Williamson said.
“My wife Charlotte does a lot of the work and the staff, as well.”
Charlotte Williamson is an accomplished reinswoman in her own right, but she hasn’t been cited on the racetrack too often since the couple had their three children Sadie, Leila, and Carter.
But the horsewoman hasn’t lost any of her skill judging by the win of Majesdix.
“Charlotte drove her this week and she said she was a winner,” Williamson said.
“She has been driving Shandon Bells lately, who won last week.”
“We might have to get her on a few more.”
Williamson had Majesdix in the one-one before angling her into the trail at the 400m, giving her every chance to show her best.
The trainer-driver earlier had Hayley Robyn in front throughout as she ran away from her rivals to score.
Graeme Anderson and training partner Mike Love had smart three-year-old Bluto back to his best form when he produced a front-running win at Ascot Park yesterday.
Anderson won hundreds of races at Forbury Park and became a punter’s friend by producing those wins at an excellent strike rate.
The closure of the track has resulted in a downsizing of the trainer’s team with young horses moved to other trainers to be educated on training tracks, something Anderson can’t do at his base at Westwood Beach.
“So, I have got to outsource them to other trainers, especially the young ones.”
While Anderson would much rather still be racing at Dunedin’s former home of harness racing, he was pleased to see Bluto deliver on his promise further south.
“It is good to get him back to where he should be.”
“He's a good young horse, he just got a little bit lost in some of those high-grade races.”
“So we brought him home, spelled him and he's just come back and he's starting to get back to where he was, I think.”
Bluto showed good gate speed to set up a front-running win in yesterday’s feature pace for driver Mark Hurrell.