Another Masterpiece and Tim Williams are clear at the end of an action-packed Welcome Stakes. Photo: Race Images.
Five in a row just wasn’t enough, so the All Stars went in search of a sixth and, as they so often do, came up trumps.
And now, New Zealand’s leading stable can lay claim to an incredible record of having won eight of the last ten editions of the time-honoured two-year-old event, the Welcome Stakes, after Another Masterpiece joined some former high-class stablemates like Highview Tommy, Alta Orlando, Waikiki Beach and Spankem on the winners’ list.
The win was as much about professionalism as it was about talent with the compact pacer producing a complete performance while those touted pre-race to push him made mistakes that cost their own chances.
“He’s just a wee pro; he handles everything so well,” driver Tim Williams said.
“That’s what makes him so easy to like because you know what you’re going to get.”
The $50,000 event was robbed of some of its hype when pre-post favourite War Dan Delight was late scratched at 2pm on Friday afternoon after being found to have an elevated temperature.
That left things a little more wide-open than they probably initially looked and when Jack Jones put in a performance worthy of a run at Riccarton on Saturday and Williams was able to secure an easy lead, the result looked a fait accompli.
“He just jumped to the front and relaxed beautifully.”
Another stablemate, A Bettor Act moved to parked and looked momentarily like he was going to run past the winner up the straight before he galloped and Williams wasn’t sure at that point what the result was going to be.
“I had only just pulled the plugs when Mark’s one galloped, but he looked like he was travelling good too.”
Another Masterpiece is raced by Phil and Glenys Kennard, the Breckon Racing Syndicate, Jim and Anne Gibbs and Gary and Kerry Woodham.
A Bettor Act managed to get back to his correct gait to hold second place down while Heisenberg found room late and burst through for third.