Williamsons feature in special first tour

Oamaru trainer-driver Phil Williamson showed the way for his sons Nathan, Matthew and Brad when they filled an all father-and-son first four at Gore on Saturday.

Phil trained and drove Liberty Stride to win race 1, a maiden 2200m event.

Nathan finished second with Richard The Great, Matthew finished third with Emma Frost and Brad completed the family first four with Mr Olympus.

That sequence of placings meant the first four was filled from oldest to youngest Williamson.

Phil quipped that it was a case younger Williamsons chasing their older and wiser family members home.

"It was quite incredible for us to come in in age order.

"It might have been a case of the wisest coming in first, followed by the younger ones."

The Williamson quartet each said they believed Saturday's result was the first time they had filled the first four placings in a race.

Three of the four had previously filled the top three placings in several trifectas.

Victory in the final race at Gore enabled Mighty Flying Art to clinch a Harness Jewels berth.

The Murray Brown-trained pacer moved to 10th qualifying position for 3yr-old pacing colts and geldings.

Mighty Flying Art looked back to his best in rating 52-60 company.

The 3yr-old's form had dipped slightly in his prior two starts in strong fields.

"He got crook the last time we went to Christchurch. I got all sorts of tests done and it didn't show anything," Brown said.

"He might have just run into better horses."

Brown said it was pleading to see the horse back to his best on Saturday for fill-in driver Tim Williams.

"It was great to see him stride out so nicely.

Tim said he did early really easy."

Though comprehensively beaten in race 6 by the winner, Nottingham VC, Full Noise booked his Harness Jewels ticket by running third.

The Brett Gray trained 3yr-old trotter took the 12th and final qualifying position in the 3yr-old trotters' section.

Total Diva was in a similar position after finishing sixth in race 4.

The Paul Court-trained filly was also 12th position in the 2yr-old pacing fillies section.

However, as there is an Australian representative in that category, only the top 11 New Zealand horses qualify for the final.

That means Total Diva will be the race's first emergency.

Born To Boogie, the winner of Saturday's feature pace, finished 14th on the 4yr-old pacing mares leader board and requires two scratchings to gain a start at the Harness Jewels at Addington on June 1.


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