Williamson scores bonus quinella at Forbury Park
By Jonny Turner
Muscle Pat went from near retirement to the winner’s circle to provide trainer Donna Williamson with a career highlight at Forbury Park on Thursday night.
Williamson scored her first quinella as a trainer when Majicion ran in to second placing behind Muscle Pat in race 1.
Muscle Pat had not been sighted at the races, or on a trial or workout track, since his last start on the West Coast in March.
Since then, the horse had moved in to semi-retirement and was relegated from racehorse to training pacemaker at Williamson’s stable.
Ironically, that move has helped revitalise his career.
“I have been using him as a pacemaker for a couple of 2yr-olds we gave a couple of trials,” Williamson said.
“That kept him reasonably fit, and then I needed something to work The Dominator with down at the Phar Lap [Raceway].”
“Poor old Muscle Pat gets annihilated by him when we turn in to the straight.”
Consistently being beaten in his training runs would be enough to put most lower grade trotters off their game, but it looked to have the opposite effect on Muscle Pat on Thursday night.
He did to his opposition what The Dominator does to him in training each week.
Though it was slightly fortunate to Muscle Pat got the opportunity to show off his renewed vigour for racing.
Williamson admitted she had no intention of racing the horse after he had shown his worth as a pacemaker in trackwork.
“That is why he hasn’t been to the trails or anything, because I didn’t have any intention of sending him anywhere [to race] to be honest.”
“When I had the opportunity to put him of 30m at Forbury I though the float is going anyway so he may as well go with Majicion.”
Williamson took home bragging rights over her partner, Steven Bell, with her quinella result.
Williamson races Muscle Pat, while Bell races Majicion with another Levels trainer in Murray Tapper.
Tapper’s night got even better when he produced Superstar Legend to win race 2, the next event on the Forbury Park card.
West Melton Michael House produced the kind of brilliant form his stable has been known for in the Central Districts, this season, with four wins at Forbury Park.
House produced Little Rain to win race 6, Honour The Bet to win race 4 and Kruizr to win race 9.
The trainer capped his big night out by taking out the Forbury Park Claimers Series heat with Anna Barclay.
His quadruple took House to 85 wins this season, easily his best term in 31 years as a trainer.
Little Rain, Honour The Bet and Anna Barclay helped driver Blair Orange notched a winning treble in the sulky.
Those results took saw Orange hit 1800 career wins as a reinsman in New Zealand.
193 of those victories have come this season, in which Orange is set to win 200 races for the second consecutive term.