Wilson keeps perfect record intact

Franco June and driver Mark Hurrell fight off the challengers to win at Wingatui yesterday. PHOTO...
Franco June and driver Mark Hurrell fight off the challengers to win at Wingatui yesterday. PHOTO: JONNY TURNER.
Balfour trainer Robert Wilson kept his brilliant record at Wingatui intact when Franco June won yesterday.

The pacer was navigated to all parts of the Otago track before producing a big finish to win race 6 for driver Mark Hurrell.

Wilson said he had brought horses to Wingatui three times and each time he had gone home with a winner.

"Lucky Lands won here and so did Machie Mach and now this guy has kept it going.''

Franco June was second-last before the home turn before Hurrell asked the pacer to work into the race.

The 5yr-old hit the lead early in the run home and stuck grimly to his task to fight off the late finish of runner-up Black Ops.

"He is a pretty nice horse. I had been putting him in stands and he had been missing away and making it hard for himself.

"Putting him in mobiles has been a big help.''

Franco June was one of two horses trained on grass tracks to cash in on the Wingatui turf yesterday.

Tapanui trainer Matt Saunders produced I'm Sick Of Excuses to win race 2 for driver Blair Orange.

Orange scored again two races later with Ultimate Sassenach.

The Mosgiel filly showed she has plenty of talent with a tough win.

The Darryn Simpson-trained pacer was challenged in the lead for much of her 2200m contest, but she shrugged off her attackers for a tough victory.

The win in race 4 impressed her trainer, but it did not surprise him.

"I have thought that for a while that she might be one of the best horses I have trained.''

When driver Blair Orange urged the filly up the straight he was just trying to keep her mind on the task at hand, rather than needing Ultimate Sassenach to dig deep into her reserves.

"Blair said she is just a bit dumb. She just hasn't figured it all out yet.

"When she does she is going to be a very nice horse.''

Ultimate Sassenach did not have to travel far from Simpson's Mosgiel stable for her Wingatui win.

She had signalled she was ready for victory with strong trackwork leading up to her race.

"She worked super at home the other day and she just jogged it.''

Ultimate Sassenach is the first winner from a group of yearlings owner Garry Clarke purchased from the 2017 national yearling sales.

He bought the Art Major filly, from 36-race winner Time Flies, for $14,000.

Otago trainers enjoyed a good day out at Wingatui yesterday with Amber Hoffman and Phil Williamson also scoring wins.

Hoffman produced Maisie's Pride for what will be her first and last win in race 1.

The 8yr-old finally broke her maiden at start 28 after a consistent run of form.

Hoffman said the horse would be retired now she had scored a previously elusive victory.

Williamson produced Majestic Connies to win race 5, yesterday's feature trot.


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