Williamson masterclass at Ascot
By Jonny Turner
Scintillating speed turned the Northern Southland twilight trots at Ascot Park into the Nathan Williamson show yesterday.
Williamson put on a training masterclass when producing Get Up N Dance to win the meeting’s feature pace before guiding Hidden Talent to a brilliant Southland Trotting Oaks win.
Physically there aren’t too many similarities between the pair, with one a towering pacer and the other a more compact trotting filly.
But yesterday they both showed they are exceptionally fast.
Get Up N Dance charged down the outside of the Ascot Park track, coming from behind the pace on a 26.7sec final 400m which should have kept the winning prize among the leaders.
The four-year-old did so first up since January without a trial or a workout, primed by Williamson for a big performance.
“He has never been noted for his speed but he is a nice horse and it is good to have him back and going this way,” the trainer-driver said.
Get Up N Dance’s backers were put through something of a nervous wait given it took three standing start attempts to get his race underway.
Thankfully the two false starts took nothing out of the horse physically or mentally
“He was good, he actually paced away all three-times.”
“He was on his best behaviour today which was good.”
Williamson now plans to aim Get Up N Dance at the Tuapeka Cup at Ascot Park during Labour weekend.
Unlike Get Up N Dance, Hidden Talent was known for her high speed before her win yesterday.
But her ability to work early and her staying prowess were both totally unknown given she had come from behind in all three of her career wins.
The filly stamped her class and showed new strengths in a dominant Southland Trotting Oaks win yesterday.
Williamson admitted it wasn’t his initial plan to lead, but he seized the opportunity when it presented.
“It wasn’t ideal early, I just wanted to roll out and slot in, but it was going to be a wee bit difficult to do that, so I elected to press forward.”
The trainer also admitted Hidden Talent wasn’t a natural front-runner.
But it took nothing away from the filly’s ability to leave a quality field in her wake.
“She was a bit green in front, she is very inexperienced, she has only had the four starts.”
“But she keeps progressing really nice and she has the makings of a really lovely mare.”
“She has got so much speed and ability as well.”
“And physically, she has got so much improvement there in her.”
Unbeaten in four starts, Hidden Talent will now be aimed at the New Zealand Trotting Oaks.