By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk
A burgeoning rivalry is forming between top four-year-old trotters Bolt For Brilliance and Cracker Hill.
Bolt For Brilliance beat Cracker Hill in the Gr.1 2YO Ruby Mobile Trot (1980m) at Addington Raceway last year and he once again came out on top last week at Alexandra Park when lowering the national record for the 2200m mobile to 2:39.6 when winning the Listed PGG Wrightson NZ Yearling Sales Final Mobile Trot (2200m).
The pair will meet again at Alexandra Park on Friday night in the Gr.2 Haras de Trotteurs Sires’ Stakes Championship Mobile Trot (2200m).
Cracker Hill’s trainer and driver Brad Williamson was pleased with the gelding’s last start performance and he is hoping for another bold showing on Friday.
“He seems to have come through it well,” Williamson said. “He has been eating up well, is looking well, and has trained on well.
“Fingers-crossed he goes as good as he did last time.
“They lowered the New Zealand record so it was a super performance.”
Bolt For Brilliance will be vying for his fifth consecutive win on Friday but Williamson is hoping Cracker Hill can spoil his party.
“With the form that he (Bolt For Brilliance) is in he is clearly the one to beat,” Williamson said.
“Whether or not we can turn the tables on him I am not sure. We are just hoping we can get ahead of him on the line.
“Cracker Hill is in the race with a chance, but Bolt For Brilliance will certainly be hard to beat.”
Williamson has enjoyed his time up in Auckland with Cracker Hill, but he is looking forward to heading back to Oamaru after Friday’s assignment in preparation for the Gr.1 New Zealand Trotting Free-For-All (1980m).
“I have been up here with the horse the whole way through and I have been staying at Josh and John Dickie’s,” Williamson said.
“They have got a state of the art training facility, so we are pretty lucky to be able to call on them when we come up here.
“Cracker Hill will head home after Friday and his next start will be the free-for-all on Cup Day, that’s the main target for him.
“With his gate speed he is well suited to sprint mobile racing, so if he got a good draw I think he will be a good each-way chance.”
Williamson is in his fourth season of training and he said it is great to have a horse of Cracker Hill’s quality in his barn so early in his career.
“It’s good to have a horse like him,” he said. “Those nice races are the ones we all want to be in and good horses are quite hard to find, so I am quite lucky to have one.”