Southern filly too good in Addington Group 3
By Jonny Turner
Great mates Brett Gray and Tim Williams combined to with the Group 3 Leonard Memorial Stakes with Always Ticking at Addington on Sunday.
The Southland filly produced a powerful performance to score after sitting parked throughout the time-honoured feature.
Though she clearly had the toughest run in the race, Always Ticking helped her cause by relaxing beautifully in the breeze.
And when it came time to get serious she dug deep to score.
Most of all, Williams was thrilled to secure a stakes race victory for his good friend.
“It was bloody good to win a nice race for B Gray, we have won a lot of races together over the years,” Williams said.
“She relaxed great, obviously she didn’t stress too much and when I asked her at to 600m to start creeping forward she was right with me.”
Williams trialled the horse before giving her the tick of approval to be purchased out of the David Thompson’s stable by owners Robert and Sharyn Symon.
The victory not only continued the great association between Gray and Williams who have been friends since the reinsman did a stint in Southland before linking up with the All Stars stable.
But it was another success for Gray and the Symons
The trainer and owners have produced a growing list of victories together with horses that include American Eyretime and Memphis Tennessee.
They have only just tasted success with Always Ticking who broke her maiden in the Leonard Memorial Stakes after running two seconds to start her career.
But it looks certain the combination have plenty to look forward to with Always Ticking.
The filly had raced greenly in her two prior starts but Gray thought sitting parked actually worked to her advantage on Sunday.
“She went good, I think she concentrated a bit better sitting parked,” Gray said.
“She is still a bit green, she will head to the paddock now and hopefully she will come back an even nicer horse.”
The victory gave Gray his second win in the Leonard Memorial Stakes.
The trainer drove Cairn Legacy to win the two-year-old feature for his late father Murray Gray in 1995.
The filly was partly raced by Nanette Innes, the wife of Dave Innes who is an integral member of Brett Gray’s stable.
The feature for the older pacers on the Cheviot card was won by Artatac.
The Mark Jones trained war horse bounced back to his best form when taking out the Cheviot Cup.
Artatac brought patchy form to the event but hinted he was ready to get back into winning action when running on late in his last start in the Waimate Cup.