Promising trotter takes win in his Stride
By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk
Showy chestnut Leaf Stride kept his undefeated record intact when winning the Haras des Trotteurs Sires’ Stakes Prelude Mobile Trot (1980m) at Addington Raceway on Friday night.
The Phil Williamson-trained three-year-old was given a gun run in the trail behind race favourite Bitamuscle and driver Matthew Williamson was able to utilise the passing lane to get the better of his rivals and score by half a head over Son Of Patrick, who was bred by Williamson’s son Nathan.
“I was thrilled with how it panned out,” Phil Williamson said.
“On paper it looked like it might be run that way, get the trail and have our chance, and it turned out great.”
Leaf Stride was victorious on debut at Addington last month, but Williamson admitted he was wary of the handy field he met on Friday.
“I was respectful of all the other runners and nice races are never easy to win. It was a pretty star-studded line-up,” he said.
“He is a nice horse, we have always known that. It has just been a matter of him delivering on what his potential is.”
Leaf Stride impressed Williamson as a younger horse and he was delighted to welcome him into his barn after he was purchased for $90,000 at the 2019 New Zealand Bloodstock Standardbred National Yearling Sale by Emilio and Maria Rosati.
“He was a nice horse, I had seen him a few times from a foal,” Williamson said. “He will now head to the Sires Stakes and the Harness Millions.”
Later in the night Williamson was pleased to see stablemate Jimmy Carter finish runner-up in the Clarkson Signs – In House Graphic Design Handicap Trot (2600m).
“Jimmy Carter went a nice race. We were really pleased with that and it was good seeing his manners there,” Williamson said.
“He has been racing well this time in. In that class at Addington there are a lot of nice horses around and you don’t get anything at Addington cheaply.”
Williamson said Jimmy Carter will likely make a return trip to Addington next week.
“There is a nice race for him next week, a $20,000 race up to rating 60 and he sits about 59, so he is in the right spot rating wise and with manners he would be a chance again.”