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The 2yr-old’s win was Gray’s first black-type victory, one which he rated at the top of his list of achievements during his 20 years as a trainer.
But in typical Southland style, the trainer deflected praise for having his pacer primed for his record-breaking effort on to driver Nathan Williamson.
“It was awesome and it was just a freakish drive from a freakish man,” Gray said.
You’re So Fine stopped the clock in yesterday’s 2200m feature at 2:39.6.
That time took a full second off the previous national 2200m record for 2yr-old pacing colts and geldings, set in the same race in 2018 by A Bettor Act.
Despite running an excellent third in his debut in the Kindergarten Stakes, You’re So Fine was rated in the middle of the pack when markets were released for the 2200m feature, as Canterbury raiders dominated pre-race talk.
But he showed his class and dented some of the reputations of his more fancied rivals as he powered past them courtesy of a pinpoint drive from Williamson.
You’re So Fine is raced by the MCC Syndicate, with MCC standing for Makarewa Country Club.
The group have been racing horses with a number of Southland trainers for almost 30 years.
“They are great guys and we have been buying one for them every now and then. It has worked out really good,” Gray said.
“We have been going all right, they are a great bunch of guys.”
Gray selected You’re So Fine for his group of owners at the National Yearling Sales last year and the colt has continued to impress the trainer since his arrival in Southland.
“I have always liked him and have had a bit of an opinion of him.”
“He had a couple of foot issues going into the Kindergarten and he hung in in that race. But his prep for this race went super.”
You’re So Fine’s win sent him charging up the Harness Jewels leader board, but he is unlikely to head to the feature race day next month.
“I really want to chuck him in the paddock, I am pretty sure the Jewels will be a no-no,” Gray said.
“He really would be better as a 3yr-old but we might be able to sneak another race into him.”
Nathan Williamson’s stunning season as both a trainer and driver continued after his win with You’re So Fine.
Williamson flourished his whip in a rare salute as Ragazzo Mach powered to an emphatic five-and-a half-length win in the group 2 Southern Supremacy Stakes.
The 3-year-old’s 3:17.8 winning time set a race record for the 2700m feature.
“He did it really easy, really,” Williamson said.
“His two runs up the road at Addington — we weren’t quite on top of our game and obviously we were against the very elite there, too.
“He ran 3:17 today and he could have gone around again. I think he proved that he is a really top horse.”
Williamson later produced Pembrook Playboy to win the Southern Country Cups Final.
Though technically it was a Canterbury victory, Better Talk Art’s win in the group 2 Southland Oaks Final was also hailed as one for the Southlanders.
Wyndham-born trainer Regan Todd returned to his home province from his Woodend Beach base to produce the 3yr-old filly to win the feature race.
Better Talk Art won the 2700m courtesy of a pinpoint drive by Robbie Close.