Royally-bred two-year-olds debuting in Invercargill

By Jonny Turner

Before Don’t Stop Dreaming and Merlin battle it out in the Chariots Of Fire at Menangle, little brother and little sister will be out to impress in their debuts at Ascot Park on Friday.

Nathan Williamson is set to debut two royally bred two-year-olds in Always Dreaming, a full brother to Don’t Stop Dreaming and Captain’s Mistress, a half-sister to Merlin.

Captains Mistress turned heads in her latest trial when charging late to down her race rival Justanothersip right on the post.

The performance has been enough to see the Captaintreacherous pacer rated at odds as low as $1.85 ahead of her clash with a smart field of two-year-old fillies.

“She has really trialled up lovely,” Williamson said.

“Everything we have asked of her, she has done.”

“So let’s hope that on Friday she can do the same.”

“We are really happy with her and her training has been good.”

“She is a pretty sensible sort of filly and I expect her to be hard to beat.”

Always Dreaming is a not only a full brother to Don’t Stop Dreaming but also a half-brother to his stablemate, the southern star Dreams Are Free.

The pacer is unbeaten in his trials, ahead of taking on a small but talented field of two-year-old colts and geldings.

“We like him, he has done everything nice right the way through,” Williamson said.

“You never quite know when you first step out under race conditions.”

“But he is a nice gaited horse and he is very sensible.”

“He has got the 1 draw and he does seem to have some of the family ability.”

“He has trained on well since his latest trial and we are happy with him.”

Trainer Brett Gray starts two two-year-olds which clash with Williamson’s pairing in Ada R J and Drummershavtime who both look eachway threats.

Gray starts a big team of eight horses at Ascot Park on Friday, including Takeitout and Joes Rock who give him a strong hand in Friday’s Southern Belle Speed Series heat.

Takeitout impressed in her last start win in a heat of the series at Gore.

Though she faces tougher competition on Friday, she still looks a strong winning hope.

“This mare has really turned the corner, her Christchurch trip racing against the good ones up there has brought her on,” Gray said.

“She has only had 12 starts and she is really starting to click in.”

Joes Rock steps back in grade after her last start fourth in the Group 1 New Zealand Standardbred Breeders Stakes.

Though she faces a tough draw in barrier 8 she must be respected on class.

“All these short distance races are not really her go, she likes the 2600m more, like in the Group One.”

“But she is really, really well and we are happy with her.”

“If she gets the right run she can show that speed.”

Julie Jaccka also looks a big threat for the Gray stable in Friday’s feature trot.

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