Alta Meteor bounced back to winning form in the Motukarara Christmas Cup

by Dave Di Somma, HRNZ News Desk

Class prevailed when Alta Meteor bounced back to winning form in the Motukarara Christmas Cup on Friday.

Driver Tim Williams took no chances with the Stonewall Stud pacer, parking out over the last 800m of the event before the three-year-old ran away to score.

Williams was thrilled with the performance, which looks to have booked Alta Meteor a trip north to the upcoming Nelson meeting.

“Speaking with Mandy (Telfer) after the race, we might go for one of the days at Nelson next,” Williams said.

“He will let us know in the next few days with how he pulls up.”

“But we have been rapt with him the last couple of weeks and how he has handled his work.”

“He seems to be in a good space at the moment.”

Though Alta Meteor looked to race like a pro, he showed Williams signs he still needs to focus on his racing a little more.

“He is one of those horses, even with the racing he has had and a trip to Australia, he is still a little bit of a baby.”

“Even in the warm-up, he was looking around.”

“Up the straight, he was cruising, but I just had to remind him what he was there for.”

“Hopefully, with more time, he will come out of that; you would think he is going to be racing in quite a few more races like this going forward.”

Hacksaw Ridge showed he is a horse that is likely to progress to the country cups grade with his dominant win in race 11 on Friday.

Trainer Ricky Gutsell trekked north from Southland with the pacer who added to his dam Insar’s incredible record as a grass track producer when he cruised away for an easy win for driver Matthew Williamson.

Friday’s meeting opened with a special moment for the Whittaker family.

Luke Whittaker returned from his permanent base in Queensland to win with Zoltan Boscik, trained by his father Jeff and raced by several of his family members, including his mother Tracey.

The victory was Luke’s first driving win in New Zealand since scoring with Pull The Other Leg in November of 2021.