Tamworth trainer Richard Williams has two runners contesting Friday night’s Tamworth harness meeting – The Puritan and Ryabby.
But before he hits the paceway Williams gave an insight into the effort of his pacer Midnight Montana at Menangle last Saturday night.
Midnight Montana, or Monty as he is known around the stables, was not the winner - or even filled a place – and in fact finished nine of nine in the $20,000 National Trotguide Country Series Final at Menangle.
No one can deny the horse or the trainer of their efforts with Midnight Montana clocking a personal best mile rate of 1.52.7 for 1609m.
“We definitely would love to go back again,” Williams said.
“We didn’t worry about where we finished as we knew the horse wouldn’t disgrace himself.”
“Not many would think of heading to Menangle with a horse that had had that many starts but we were looking forward to the trip.”
It was the eight-year old gelding’s 189th start. He was the grandpa of the field, with his nearest rival being Bathurst pacer Tulhurst Santanna who was having race start 50.
“Sarah Rushbrook drove Monty at Tamworth in the heat and she gave him a terrific run in that race to qualify,” Williams said.
They were “low flying” in the final with the winner Rich Virgin (Blake Jones) winning with a mile rate of 1.50.9.
Midnight Montana commenced from the 11 barrier and crossed down to the inside running line not long after the start.
Both Williams and Midnight Montana were on debut at Headquarters.
“It was definitely an experience and we knew we were a 100/1 shot but we felt as if we belonged,” Williams said.
“The race was run so quick we were thinking we might have been in a 1.53 race but when I saw 27.1 and 28 seconds for the first and second quarters I knew the speed was on – when we hit the first corner we hung in a bit as there was so much speed on.”
Even with only three shoes on, Midnight Montana had his game on.
“He threw a shoe before the race but when we did the warm up he was keen,” Williams said.
“He was struggling at the 500 metres but he got his second wind and he kept fighting on.”
“I knew he would run the race of his life and he felt a million dollars.”
On Friday night Williams will take the drive behind The Puritan in the Vale Ray Taylor-Life Member N & NW Bookmakers Association Pace and be looking for back to back wins, while Ryabby will contest the Psarakis Accounting Pace with Brad Elder in the spider.
The first of nine races will commence at 6.10pm.
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