Simpson and team thriving in Oamaru

By Jonny Turner

Darryn Simpson’s horses are thriving in Oamaru and the trainer’s winning double at his new home track on Waikouaiti Cup Day showed just that.

A twenty-five-year association between Darryn Simpson and his former employer Murray Edmonds paid more dividends when Bacardi Pride and Emma Louise ran to trotting victories yesterday.

Home track trotting doubles from Oamaru trainers are nearly exclusively achieved by the Williamson family.

But with Simpson’s move north after the closure of his former base at Forbury Park the North Otago square-gaiting ranks have become even stronger.

And that was helped by some quick thinking by the trainer, who sourced both of his winners from his former boss in Edmonds.

“I used to work for Murray when I was a junior driver,” Simpson said.

“I was keen for a wee while to have a go with Bacardi Pride and when I went up to pick him up I ended purchasing Emma Louise on behalf of a couple of clients.”

That decision has proven to be a very good one with Emma Louise winning three times for Simpson in just seven starts.

And going by her victory in race eight yesterday there is more to come.

“She hadn’t race for a while, I had given her a little bit of time off, so she went super.”

“And she should improve from that run, all of them missed a trial with the trials being cancelled this week.”

Bacardi Pride broke maidens in race 1 yesterday for driver Matthew Williamson.

Following a bold last start second, the horse’s confidence is on the up.

“I don’t think he is finished either, he went super in his last start and he worked super during the week and has then gone good again today.”

“He is getting more confidence and I think that could be the key to him.”

“He can run, we went some beauties when he was missing away before Christmas.”

Williamson and Simpson have the biggest stables at Oamaru Raceway.

Simpson’s horses are clearly thriving in North Otago and the trainer is also enjoying his new surroundings.

“I enjoy it, the atmosphere is good and the climate is good.”

“It is good with Matty and his family here, he helps me out and we all try to work in together.”

“It works out really well, we try pay each other back in different ways.”

Waikouaiti trainer Denis O’Connell trekked to Oamaru yesterday and returned home with his home town’s trotting cup.

O’Connell produced an impressive training performance to have Aveross Majesty ready to win the 3000m Waikouaiti Trotting Cup in just his second start in a year.

Before his first up outing at Rangiora earlier this month, the Majestic Son six-year-old had not started since running 10th in the Waikouaiti Trotting Cup of 2021.

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