Williamson excited by Jen Jaccka

NZ HARNESS NEWS

A change is as good as a holiday for some horses and Jen Jaccka proved that at Oamaru on Sunday when she won fresh up for her new trainer, Phil Williamson.

The daughter of CR Commando was born and raised and, until near the end of her last campaign, trained in Southland. But now she calls North Otago home

With seven prior wins, her ability has never been in question.

But the way she won at her new home track, sitting parked the trip and destroying her opponents, suggests she might well be ready to make a splash in the hot bed that is Canterbury fast-class trotting.

“She’s pleasing us the way she is progressing and we wouldn’t be frightened to try her at the top level,” said Williamson, who knows a thing or two about top trotting mares having prepared our richest ever in One Over Kenny.

“I’ve always known she’s had a fair amount of ability by racing against her, and the fact that (son) Nathan has been her driver and he’s told me how well she goes.

“So, we were pleased when (former trainer) Brett Gray recommend to the owners that they send her to us for this season.

“I don’t think Brett was too excited about travelling from Invercargill to Christchurch every Friday night.”

In a rather selfless act, Gray actually opted to send both Jen Jaccka and Smokey Mac to Williamson in an effort to maximise their earning potential for their owners.

“Smokey Mac hasn’t arrived yet. He had a long spell after the Jewels after lightening up on the trip to Cambridge.”

Jen Jaccka will now target the Ordeal Trotting Cup at Addington on September 18, which will act as a tester for trips to the likes of Ashburton and Kaikoura.

“We might well have a look at the Ordeal. She came up here to have a try against the good horses and that’s the first one for the season.

“She’s a nice horse and it’s a question of whether she can step up and prove she’s good enough to be competitive in a race like the Dominion.

“No matter what happens, she’ll never be able to match Monbet or Marcoola at their best, but as we found out last season, the trotting division can fall away pretty quickly through injuries and whatever else.

“Those horses and the likes of Speeding Spur and Temp[orale are really good horses, and we’re under no illusions about how good we’ve got to be to be competitive with them, but I think she’s earned a crack.”

Williamson was not saying no to Jen Jaccka for her owners, Charlie and Alisa Smaill, after previously declining an offer to train another horse them.

“They asked me to take Jaccka Justy at one point and I said no. And he went on to win a Dominion.

“So hopefully I’ve pulled the right rein this time.”

Williamson also reported stable employee Charlotte Purvis had come through her spill at the Oamaru races in one piece.

Driving Mr Midnight, Purvis was tipped out of the cart as the mobile approached the starting point after a galloping horse caused a concertina effect.

“She has a bit of a sore back but turned up for work this morning and was walking around fine.”

Purvis broke her shoulder in an eerily similar accident at Waikouaiti in February, an incident that put her on the sidelines for two months.

“It’s pretty unusual for the same person to be tipped out twice in one year in the same manner,” said Williamson.

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