The Dominator a good chance

NZ HARNESS NEWS

When there’s a trotting race at Oamaru, one can often just look for the name Williamson and sort one from there.

That may well prove the case tomorrow with the in-form 14-time winner Pyramid Magic engaged in the Fasttrack Insurance Handicap, along with Alderbeck and Monty Python resuming for Phil Williamson.

But the event could also easily fall the way of the unrelated Donna Williamson, who trains The Dominator just up the road, near Timaru.

The rising talent is also resuming off a two-week freshen up after he closed out last season in good style with three wins from his last six starts, including two stylish wins in handicaps at Addington.

Sunday will be The Dominator’s biggest test to date but Williamson was encouraged by an Ashburton trial win on Tuesday where he comfortably held a good horse in Over The Love.

“That was just a sprint home after they’d walked around until the half and I don’t think Ken Barron asked his horse for much, but neither did Craig (Thornley) and our fellow did it easily as well,” said Williamson.

“I would have liked another trial or two under our belts ideally because he put on a lot of weight during two weeks in a good paddock and he’s still a bit fat probably, but he’s raced well fresh in the past and he likes the track, and you have to kick off somewhere.”

The Dominator was unbeaten in two starts at Oamaru before he went for a gallop going into the first bend in his last race there in June.

That was the last time Stephen McNally drove The Dominator with Brad Williamson handling him in his remaining three races last season for two wins and a close second.

“Stephen was planning on driving Trouble Giero in the race tomorrow but he’s just been sold, while Brad is committed to his Dominion Handicap drive Alderbeck.”

So, Williamson turned to Thornley hoping for some continuity going forward, now that his drive in the grade in Lavros Jack has gone sore and been turned out.

“After he galloped last time at Oamaru, I asked Brad not to bustle him into that first turn and to just drive him cold with a sit and it worked out pretty well, so we’ll keep doing that.”

The Dominator has won five of his 20 races and another win tomorrow would set him for a crack at the Canterbury Park Trotting Cup, but Williamson has a longer-term plan for the five-year-old and didn’t nominate him for the Dominion.

“I think he’ll make the Dominion one day, but he’s still relatively young and inexperienced so we just have the Rowe Cup in the back of our minds at this stage.”

Tomorrow’s feature trot will be a bit of a headache for punters and even the favourite will be loose in the market with other live chances including the promising Muscles Galore, quick beginner Red Hot Poker, the underrated mare Sundons Flyer and future open class horse McLovin.

The latter is likely to need a bit racing however and it is Muscles Galore who will probably be the one to beat if he can step cleanly from 10m.

The well-bred five-year-old made a very good impression when second to Le Lievre’s Gift when resuming at Addington last Friday night, where Medusa, Sundons Flyer and Red Hot Poker were next in but five lengths away.

Williamson lines up three earlier starters or pretty much her entire racing team earlier in the day at Oamaru, including first starter Majicion in the maiden trot, although she’s not overly confident with any of them.

“Majicion lacks speed and is probably looking for a spell, but she stays well and does things right and it’s a small field so she could get some of it.”

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