Matty Williamson's big book of drives for Wyndham

By Michael Guerin

Matty Williamson might have a star book of drives when harness racing returns to Wyndham but they are all going to have to do things the hard way.

The popular horseman will team up with huge chances in Ultimate Stride, Deus Ex, American Lightning and My Ultimate Chevron and all face either stiff handicaps or wide draws.

“I have my work cut out but I have some horse power to work with,” says Williamson.

He is looking forward to getting back behind Ultimate Stride even off his 40m mark in the main trot today and says the four-year-old’s manners will be a big help in his quest to return with a win.

“He usually begins well and safely, which will really help,” says Williamson.

“He is pretty forward and is a very good horse so has a class edge on most of these horses so I think he will be hard to beat.”
 Ultimate Stride’s main aim is the Jewels in June and his task today has been made enormously easier by Cracker Hill pulling out of the race.

While it is a big field and only 2400m so the leaders could run hard, Ultimate Stride is high class enough to still win so the $2.10 opening odds from the TAB were very fair.

Williamson is not only the driver but trainer of Deus Ex in the $15,000 MLT Wyndham Cup and while he faces a 20m backmark Williamson believes the horse to beat is right alongside him.

“My fella has to be hard to beat but Memphis Tennessee will be the big danger,” says Williamson.

“So I’d say Deus Ex is a good each way chance.”

American Lightning is by far the best performed pacer in the three-year-old event on Thursday, having won six of his 10 starts but is an luxurious odds, with the bookies far keener on Samhara even though he is a maiden, with plenty of weight being placed on the draws over the mobile mile.

It is similar in the $25,000 Kindergarten Stakes, the feature of the day where My Ultimate Chevron is not only the only race winner but the only one of the six starters to have even been to the race but he opened $6.50 because of his draw and the hype around Hayden Cullen-trained debutante Akuta.

Akuta was into $1.70 after some smart trials performances but trainer Cullen says there is very little between Akuta and stablemate Bollinger, who draws barrier one and was out to $3.10 last night.

“I can’t really split them and wouldn’t be surprised if either won,” says Cullen.

“They both have a bit to learn but they are down here because the race acts as a qualifying heat for the Sires’ Stakes as well,” says Cullen.

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