Williamson heading to Cup week via Oamaru

By Jonny Turner

Nathan Williamson has missions in his hometown before setting his sights on New Zealand Cup week.

The trainer-driver takes two horses north to Oamaru today in Itoje and Ruby Roe, with both bringing excellent recent trial form to their assignments.

Itoje had a reputation long before joining Williamson’s barn after his purchase by Australian owner Mick Boots.

Whether the horse gets to strut his stuff during the New Zealand Cup Carnival will depend on how he performs in race 6 at Oamaru.

“I have nominated him for Show Day, but we will see how he goes at Oamaru,” Williamson said.

“This trip is a bit of a tester, and we will see how he goes.”

“He is still a big baby, even though he has had a bit of age about him he obviously hasn’t had a lot of racing or been too far before.”

“We will see how he goes; we have until next Wednesday to decide whether he goes to the South Of The Waitaki race.”

Itoje will have his first standing start at Oamaru for junior driver Oliver Kite.

Williamson is hopeful the pacer can step away cleanly and show his true worth.

“We think he is sensible enough to handle it. He has had two stands at the workouts, and he’s stepped away well both times.”

“It is always a totally different proposition at the races, but I don’t think it will be a problem.”

Ruby Roe will have her first start in race 4 after impressing in her recent trials and workouts. From barrier 5, the filly looks set for a big debut.

“She is nice; I have been impressed with her since she has come to my place,” Williamson said.

“I am just babysitting her for John and Katrina Price.”

“You don’t know exactly what to expect until they do it at the races, but I would expect her to be going a pretty nice race.”

Williamson will have starters at Wyndham on Sunday before lining up Pembrook Playboy in the New Zealand Cup on Tuesday.

The trainer-driver was rapt to secure barrier 1 for his classy pacer.

“I am rapt with the draw. The big question was going to be how do we get to the markers.”

“He will step away great from there, and hopefully, we can settle behind one of the main fancies, and we will see what he can do from there.”

Williamson also starts Advance Party in the Group One Nevele R Fillies Series Final and Rise Up N Dance in a graded event.

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