Southern filly impresses in second win

by Jonny Turner

Nathan Williamson and Craig Ferguson swapped places to win the Group 3 Caduceus Club Of Southland & Alabar Fillies Classic at Ascot Park on Saturday.

The Williamson trained Flying Ellie justified her favouritism for New Zealand’s first stakes race of the season for two-year-old fillies when Ferguson controlled the pace in front.

The winning performance was identical to when Williamson produced a canny front-running steer behind the Ferguson trained Nutcracker in the same race in 2021.

The only difference being Flying Ellie initially trialled runner-up Always Ticking before Ferguson took the favourite to the lead at the 1600m.

“Before the race I wasn’t sure how it was going to pan out, but I knew she had enough ability to overcome anything, really,” Ferguson said.

“The way it worked out we ended up in front and in the end it was the best place to be.”

While Flying Ellie didn’t break any records after Ferguson controlled the race in front, she held her rivals off with ease and confirmed the good opinion the reinsman has of the filly. She has now won two from two.

“She is lovely wee filly and Nath has just got her pinpoint – she does everything right.”

“She feels like she has got a bit of bottom to her, so I think she will go on and do a job.”

Flying Ellie is raced by Otago owners Mark and Melanie Kingsbury who purchased the filly from the Tardina Stud draft at the National Yearling Sales at Karaka.

The filly’s win came just days after the passing of Tardina Stud proprietor Tony Parker.

Parker, together with his wife Anne, made an outstanding contribution to standardbred breeding in New Zealand.

Auckland Reactor, Chase Auckland and Sharp And Telford are among the most outstanding horses the couple have bred.

Ferguson’s victory with Flying Ellie came just a race after he produced a talented pacer of his own for a front-running victory.

Wag Star debuted in outstanding style when taking down a quality maiden field for driver Mark Hurrell.

Ferguson is now eyeing a late run at the Southern Supremacy Stakes Series with the three-year-old.

“Just lately he has really turned the corner and he has turned into quite a nice horse.”

“His run today was pretty impressive and I think he will go on and do a nice job.”

“There are two heats of the Supremacy left and he would have to start in both of them.”

“We will probably aim him at that and see how he stands up.”

Miki Knows was another to produce an outstanding front-running performance at Ascot Park on Saturday.

The Jeremy Douglas trained pacer worked very hard to find the lead but when called upon, he held off his rivals impressively.

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