Harness - News

Brad Williamson taking strides as a trainer

  • Wed, 11 Apr 2018
  • Matt Markham
Two Ply wins his second race for Brad Williamson and fifth overall in easy fashion at Ascot Park last weekend.

Two Ply wins his second race for Brad Williamson and fifth overall in easy fashion at Ascot Park last weekend.

The next wave of the Williamson movement is starting to gain some serious momentum.

And if Brad Williamson heads down the same path as his father and two older brothers, then he’s set for an impressive and lucrative future in harness racing.

The young North Otago horseman has been featuring prominently, as he usually does, in the sulky this season but the real strides have been made in the training ranks where he’s ticking along quite nicely in his first season.

From 46 starters, he’s already trained eight winners, largely with horses obtained off other trainers and there’s 11 placings thrown into the mix as well.

“It’s been a bit of a dream start really,” Wiliamson said.

“I’ve been pretty lucky with the horses I’ve been able to get and the job that they’ve done.”

Williamson has purchased a 22-acre property next to his father Phil’s establishment near Oamaru and is working his own team of five racehorses before heading over the fence to give dad a hand.

“It’s good having him nearby to bounce ideas off, although my pacers are actually going a lot better than my trotters at the moment, which is a bit of a worry.”

Williamson’s team is spearheaded by Two Ply, who was an impressive winner at Invercargill last Saturday after leading and running his rivals off their feet.

“I had been real disappointed in his last performance, but his work leading up to last week had been really good.

“He’s a funny horse, but he goes alright and has done a good job for me.”

Two Ply is joined in the barn by another in-form pacer in The Doorman, who was late scratched at Fobury Park last week but is headed to a Nugget Final this weekend down south and is expected to go well.

“I’ve got a pretty big mortgage to pay and it’s the best way of making sure I pay it to be honest.”

“He gets in quite nicely this week and races horses who have largely only won the one race, so I would expect him to be competitive.”

The pacing pair stand alongside the trotting trio of Jeddy R Ya Reddy, Daiquiri and Zoned Scarlett, who has joined the stable this week after winning a maiden for Darryn Simpson following a transfer to Otago from Kyle Cameron’s barn in North Canterbury.

“There’s a couple of young ones there too, so it’s just enough to keep me busy, but I am really enjoying it and looking forward to seeing where I can take it.”

The family pressure will no doubt come from the competitive clan and with Nathan recently notching up his 200th training win and Phil being well over the 500 mark, there’s some serious ground for the youngster to make up.

“There’s always a bit of winding up going on, but it’s all in good spirit.”

While training is the big focus, Williamson isn’t keen to take the foot off the pedal on the driving ranks just yet.

He’s driven 37 winners this season which places him inside the top 10 drivers in the country.

“I’ve got a pretty big mortgage to pay and it’s the best way of making sure I pay it to be honest, so I’m in no hurry to give it up.

“Down the line I can probably see myself training more than driving, but I’m quite happy with the balance at the moment.”