Williamson hoping to plunder northern gems
By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk
While he may have missed out on a Jewels scalp, Nathan Williamson is hoping to score a consolation win at Alexandra Park on Friday night.
The Southland horseman will contest each of the Uncut Gems races, including the Listed BetaVet Uncut Gems Entires & Geldings Classic Mobile Pace (2200m) with stable runner Pembrook Playboy.
The four-year-old entire finished eighth in the Group One 4YO Emerald (1609m) at Cambridge Raceway earlier this month, but Williamson believes he will be hard to beat on Friday, even from his outside draw on the second line.
“He seems really well, I am really happy with him,” Williamson said. “He has come through the Jewels well, so I expect him to run an improved race.
“He is a pretty classy horse when he is on top of his game. I think he will be pretty hard to beat on Friday.”
It’s been a pleasing season for the son of Bettor’s Delight, having won seven of his 14 starts, including four Group Threes, the Northern Southland Cup (2700m), the Summer Cup (1980m), the Invercargill Cup (2700m), and the Three Central Otago Trotting Cup (2400m).
While Williamson said it would be nice to cap the season with a stakes victory on Friday, he is looking forward to next season with the rising five-year-old, with the Group One New Zealand Trotting Cup (3200m) his main goal in November.
“He will go home after Friday, but he can’t afford to have too long off,” Williamson said. “We will just have to work out what the first target will be, it won’t take long to get around to September.
“He is a very good horse, so I am looking forward to prepping him for the Cup.”
Williamson will also take the reins behind Pearl Harbour in the Listed Empire Stallions (NZ) Uncut Gems Mares Classic (2200m) for trainers Barry Purdon and Scott Phelan.
The daughter of Somebeachsomewhere finished fifth in the Group One 4YO Diamond (1609m) and Williamson is expecting an improved result on Friday.
“She went good in the Jewels, she just had to do a bit of work early, which didn’t help,” he said. “I think she will be a lot better coming with one run this week.”
Williamson was set to line-up stable runner Kiwitrix in the Listed NZB Standardbred Uncut Gems Aged Trotters Classic Handicap Trot (2700m), however, injury has led to his scratching and Williamson will now take the reins behind the Andrew and Lyn Neal-trained Credit Master.
“It was a bit unfortunate with Kiwitrix,” Williamson said. “I thought he would be hard to beat in that race, but he just knocked himself on the leg. It’s nothing major, but it is going to put him out for Friday night.
“I have picked up the drive on Credit Master. My horses have been based at Andrew and Lyn Neals' and I am absolutely rapt to pick up the drive on him. He is a lovely horse and he won well last start.”