Racing: Large footsteps to follow

By Matt Smith

Brad Williamson (beside father Phil), hopes to emulate brothers Matt (third from let) and Nathan. Photo / Supplied
Brad Williamson (beside father Phil), hopes to emulate brothers Matt (third from let) and Nathan. Photo / Supplied

Brad Williamson would love to join his brothers as Harness Jewels-winning drivers, but he knows the task is immense at Ashburton today.

His oldest brother Nathan went back-to-back with Springbank Richard in 2007 and 2008, while Matthew earned his first Jewel in 2009 with Leighton Hest, but the $101 fixed-odds price for Miss Pegasus in the 4-year-old ruby trot makes Brad's job easier, as far as he is concerned.

"It's pretty exciting - I just can't wait to get it all over and done with," Williamson said.

"I'm not really nervous - there's not much I can do to help push her along. She's not at $1.10 in the betting, so I don't need to worry about it too much."

The Oamaru youngster, who turns 19 on June 18, has paired up with Miss Pegasus in all but four of her 30 starts, including four of her six wins, and has developed a soft spot for the daughter of the great race mare Merinai, trained by his father Phil.

"She's definitely one of my favourites. I probably haven't won as many races on a single horse as her."

Her draw on the second line could work out in her favour, as she starts behind Master Lavros.

"She's actually quite nicely drawn in behind the good ones.

"She's a sit-sprint sort of a horse, so she'll obviously be able to sit in the whole way and we can see what she's made of in the finish."

Considering Miss Pegasus will be taking on open-class performers like Stent and Escapee, Williamson said a top-five finish is probably her best possible result - although Williamson has steered home a long-shot winner before in the Kurow and Waimate cups with Motu Speedy Star.

"A top-five finish would be a great effort for her.

"Seeing the class of the field, some of them are the best horses in the country. If she can even get close to that calibre of horse, she's gone a huge race."

Williamson can dig for a jewel again on Sunday when he teams up with Monnay in the 5-year-old ruby for his father. Monnay impressed against the pacers at the Oamaru trials on May 15.

"We were really happy with him - he got out of the gate good, and ran a 2:00 [mile rate] - he's pretty forward for it all."

- NZ Herald

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