It is not often a group 3 drive on a likely favourite
falls into your lap, but that
has happened to Tim Williams who has the drive behind Messini
in the Kindergarten Stakes at Wyndham tomorrow.
Williams, who moved south from Canterbury late last year to
continue his driving career and work at Wayne Adams'
Invercargill stables, is still surprised how he came to be
driving for the All Stars Stables.
''My father was at the yearling sales [in Christchurch on
Wednesday] and [Messini's trainer] Mark Purdon came over and
told him to let me know to put my name down for the drive.''
Williams saw Messini run second behind Isaiah in the Sapling
Stakes at Ashburton on February 9, and was taken aback by the
Art Major colt's ability to keep chasing on a last 400m of
''It was fairly impressive to see him run the leader close
with the sectionals they ran,'' he said.
Williams will catch up with Purdon tonight as he has one
drive at the Hororata meeting at Addington, and he will get
his driving instructions then.
Return To Sender, who was third in the Sapling Stakes, is a
race rival for Messini tomorrow. He is trained by Robert
Dunn, who also trained the Mach Three colt's dam, Mainland
Banner, throughout her glittering career.
Nathan Williamson trains and drives Onedin Mach who backed up
his trials form with a four-length win at Ascot Park on
February 12, while Cran Dalgety brings Regulus south after an
eye-catching second at the Ashburton workouts, also on
Williams rates Bettor Than Money as his best drive of the
rest, giving it a good place chance, while he is simply
hoping for an error-free run from Brilliant Cruiser, who
takes on 3yr-olds.
''He's got to get round in one piece, really, but there are
probably two or three 3yr-olds in there that are a bit smart