Nathan Williamson brings up 900 wins
By Jonny Turner
Nathan Williamson brought up a significant milestone in the last chapter of racing at Forbury Park when notching his 900th win as a driver last night.
Almost 16 years after saluting for the first time behind Brooker on the same track in 2005, Williamson produced a front-running drive behind the Brett Gray trained Jasmine Jaccka to bring up his ninth century of driving wins in New Zealand.
The Oamaru born reinsman quickly began working on his next hundred victories, also winning with both Ah Mach (race 2) and Dashtothebeach (race 6) last night.
“Every milestone you get is a thrill, so it was great to be able to do it,” Williamson said.
“I have had a bit of luck at Forbury, so it was nice to be able to do it here before it closes.”
“It is understandable why it is happening, but it is a little bit sad that we won’t be racing here anymore.”
Williamson’s best season in the sulky came when he notched 100 wins in 2016-17.
The reinsman will now be out to chase down his second-best term in the cart.
With 75 wins this season, Williamson is just three victories short of his 78-win tally in the 2013-14 season.
There is no wondering why Williamson is in a position to chase down milestones.
The trainer-driver has produced outstanding results from his stable this season with Pembrook Playboy, Ragazzo Mach and Chinese Whisper producing plenty of wins.
“It has been a great season, I have been lucky to have some really nice horses in the stable.”
Gray and Williamson have both returned to Southland after producing You’re So Fine to run a big fourth at last weekend’s Harness Jewels.
Though well beaten by Akuta, the two-year-old stuck on gamely after racing three-wide for the last lap of the Group One Feature.
Williamson also produced Ragazzo Mach to run fourth at the Harness Jewels.
Both horses will now fly to Perth to do their future racing after being sold in lucrative deals.
Jasmine Jaccka capped consistent form when striding out to break her maiden in race 1.
Williamson then gave Ah Mach a perfect run in the trail before she dashed along the passing lane to win race 2 in his own colours.
Williamson brought up a winning treble behind the Bruce Negus trained Dashtothebeach in race 6.
The three-year-old relished a massive drop in class after competing in the Group One New Zealand Oaks in her last start.
Beyond midfield at the 1200m, Williamson sent the three-year-old forward to take the lead with a lap to go before the filly charged away for a comfortable win.
Dashtothebeach brought up Williamson’s 121st win in his 16 seasons of driving at Forbury Park.
Williamson’s brother Matthew also got in on the winning action at Forbury Park last night.
The trainer-driver produced Boarding Call for back-to-back wins in race 8.
The four-year-old has turned her form around with two big performances, both coming off the unruly.
Williamson is already a member of the 900-win club with Boarding Call his 969th New Zealand winner.