Maximus Prost impresses on debut
By Jonny Turner
Strike-rate trainer Lauren Pearson rolled out another smart type at Ascot Park on Thursday in debut winner Maximus Prost.
The 3yr-old came in to his debut after bolting-in in a recent workout by a massive ten lengths.
Punters did not miss that performance and his backers got paid when he took full advantage of a perfect cart in to race 7 delivered by driver Brent Barclay.
“He did go really good at the workouts and he had been working well at home,” Pearson said.
The victory was Pearson’s fourth of the season and came with just her 17th starter.
“We are working six horses and only two of them are racehorses.”
“We have had a bit of a clean out.”
Maximus Prost is raced by former trainer Stuart Somerville alongside Tony Irwin, Ian Stewart, John Reid and Maurice Stevenson.
Sommerville produced 15 winners in his training career, but these day prefers to leave the work to Pearson and Barclay.
“It’s a young person’s game training horses,” he quipped.
“I am quite tickled pink with the way the horse went today, I thought if he ran in the money I would be happy.”
“But he actually dealt to them, really.”
The 3yr-old is the third starter and third winner from his dam, Summer Ale.
Maximus Prost’s group of owners have the last two foals from the mare, who died recently, to go on with.
One is a yearling filly by Bettor’s Delight and the other a weanling by Captaintreacherous.
Barclay completed a winning double when Nota Bene Denario won race 8, Thursday’s feature pace.
The Brett Gray trained 5yr-old broke a 14 month winning drought when producing a swooping finish to score.
Nota Bene Denario had run eight seconds since previously winning in April of last year.
Gray was relieved the pacer did not run in to one horse better on the day again.
“I am just happy he didn’t run second again,” Gray quipped.
“He has been a bit unlucky, but he is always going to be with the way he races.”
Nathan Williamson also bagged a driving double at Thursday’s meeting.
The trainer-driver was a relieved man when his talented trotter Chinese Whisper finally showed his true worth with a stylish win in race 9.
A combination of his wayward recent efforts and not being at his best over summer meant the trotter had not won since March of last year.
Unlike in his two prior starts, the 4yr-old trotted fluently to put his winless run behind him.
And he did it with sizzling speed, reeling off a 27.7sec last 400m to power away from his rivals to win by almost five lengths.
“That was great, he felt really good,” Williamson said.
“Without being disrespectful to the horses he raced against, it was a bit embarrassing the way he was getting beaten earlier in the season considering what I think of him.”
Williamson completed his winning double in the sulky with a patient drive behind Yankee Party.
He sat off a strong speed with the John and Katrina Price trained mare, who charged home to win race 10 impressively by five lengths.