New challenge faces Alta Meteor in Nelson Classic
By Jonny Turner
A different kind of challenge awaits Alta Meteor following his outstanding win in the Nelson Cup.
The Stonewall Stud pacer shrugged off mid-race work as he outstayed his rivals in the 3000m on Friday for driver Tim Williams.
Race conditions couldn’t be much more contrasting with the four-year-old setting out over a mile, from the outside of the gate, in the Nelson Classic on Sunday.
But with the form he is in, Alta Meteor looks right up for the challenge.
“It will be interesting – it is a totally different kettle of fish and he isn’t known for his gate speed,” Williams said.
“But he was good enough to give them a head start and beat them on Friday.”
“I may have to drive him for his speed and he might need a little bit of luck, but if he is close enough to them there is no reason he couldn’t get over top of them.”
With back-to-back cup wins, there is little doubt that Alta Meteor is in a great space at the moment.
“Leading into Motukarara he had been working super and seemed right back to his best.”
“He has continued that and he is in a really good space at the moment.”
Williams will reunite with Twista following his big effort for second at Nelson on Friday.
The three-year-old has also drawn wide, but he also looks capable of overcoming it.
“He is a lovely horse, he gave me a great feel on the first day.”
“Just having the half blinds on, he didn’t see the winner until it got past us, but to his credit, he kicked back well.”
“The draw isn’t ideal but he should be going a pretty nice race.”
Some slick early manoeuvring from Jonny Cox helped Rock Band go two-from-two at Friday’s meeting.
On Sunday it will be up to Williams to help the pacer make it three-from-three.
“I think the mile suits him, he has come down from up north and the team there think he has good speed.”
“For a horse that hasn’t had a lot of racing, it will be interesting; he is taking on horses that have had a lot of racing.”
“But on what he has shown, he looks like he is up to it.”
Williams will take several outside drives at Nelson on Sunday with Monarch Prince and Bondi Lustre looking the best chances among them.