The country's leading junior driver has a chance to
extend his lead in the premiership when harness racing comes to
Matthew Williamson is comfortably on top of the premiership
for young drivers. His 47 wins puts him well clear of his
nearest rival, Zac Butcher, on 33.
He has triple figures in mind as he looks ahead to the end of
the season - a feat achieved only by Butcher, Mark Jones and
Dexter Dunn as junior drivers in the past. Williamson ended
up on 87 wins last season.
''Numbers-wise, 100 would be the realistic goal - and I want
to beat Zac, however many that will take,'' Williamson said.
The North Otago reinsman is also entrenched in fourth on the
national drivers' premiership, seven wins clear of John Dunn
Williamson hopes to pick up two winners today from nine
One of his best chances looks to be Galleon's Triumph (race
2), who battled away bravely for second on a sticky Omakau
track on January 2.
''He's good to go for tomorrow. Dad's other one [Bet's Sun]
will be the hardest to beat,'' Williamson said.
Galleon's Triumph is best saved for one run, and Williamson
will choose his time wisely.
''He'll sit back and we'll decide when to make our run.''
Just A Marvel (race 4) keeps going honest races, and he ran
on well for third at Cromwell on Sunday as he seeks to leave
the non-winners' grade.
''He's going quite good. He went well at Waimate, as well,''
''He'll get one pretty soon - he's a pretty nice maiden."
Just A Marvel, trained by Ian Munro of Rostreiver Hanover
fame, has barrier three to work with in a field that is not
overly strong on paper. His biggest danger is on his
immediate inside in the form of Stradowan, who was third
behind Sara Holley at Rangiora.
No Potato is Williamson's drive in the junior drivers' race,
although he is eyeing up his brother Nathan's horse, Galaxy
Hunter, as the major danger. Williamson is yet to drive No
Potato, but has liked what he has seen from the sidelines.
''I've seen him go and he looks like a good-gaited horse,''
Mackenzie Jacob's chances in a 1-2 win pace have been negated
by his second-line draw.
''He might be a place chance, although he's probably one to
put into the race at some point.''
He rated his other drives - Baby Fern, Redford, Illumaway,
Graceandtemika and Yaholyterror - as place chances. The Fiery
Ginga will compete today in the 2+ win trot, after fading to
seventh at Cromwell on Sunday. Trainer Alan Clark often backs
up the horse quickly, and The Fiery Ginga will start off the
50m mark, giving 40m to Roxburgh winner Miss Pegasus.