Racing: Drive a surprise

Tim Williams
Tim Williams
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 26.4 seconds.

''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 February 12.

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 for him.''

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