YEAR: 2006


On paper, last week's Southern Trust Dominion Trotting Handicap hinted at being a battle of two stables. 'Team Williamson' had three runners in the Group 1 event - Jasmyn's Gift, Allegro Agitato and One Over Kenny - and Kevin Fairbairn lined up the grossly under-rated Whatsundermykilt and his ever consistent half-brother Glenbogle; between them the five trotters had won almost every major lead-up race prior to last Friday night's $150,000 thriller. And that form stacked the end, Whatsundermykilt pounced from the trail and packed too much punch for One Over Kenny and the pacemaking Jasmyn's Gift after a drive by Shane Walkinshaw that Fairbairn described as "inch perfect".

"After we got such a good draw, the plan was to begin and hopefully lead then hand up to somethihg good," Walkinshaw said afterwards. Whatsundermykilt really is an amazing horse, and you've got to hand it to Kevin because both of them have got such great manners. I couldn't believe they were writing us off after his Show Day run (seventh); he just didn't handle the wet, and I was rapt in the way he ran home that day."

Ever since he first began his career, Whatsundermykilt looked as if he would go all the way to the top. Fairbairn has nursed the son of Sundon and nurtured that potential, and last week it was realised with a victory which was the biggest by far for everyone concerned - horse, owners, trainer and driver.

"Last year was going to be his year, but he nearly cut his leg off when he got it caught in a grill here one day at the trials," an emotional Fairbairn said. "I always knew he was something special this horse, because in the early days he used to give them a furlong start and still run in the money. Having Shane on him has made a huge difference, too. But no, this is very special... you know, you foal the old mare, then you have the horse on the property every day bar the ones when he's been out for a spell or in Aussie. That takes a lot of beating."

Talking of Australia, that's where Whatsundermykilt and Glenbogle are headed next and we'll fly out on December 3. Venturing across the Tasman with his two trotters is not new for Fairbairn because he has done it for a few years now, and he is adamant about the reasons why. "What, should we leave them at home and waste them?" he said. "There is a lot for them over there between now and February - the Bill Collins Mile, Grand Prix, Dullard Cup and Australian Trotters Championship, not to mention the Inter-Dominions in between. I chose not to start 'Scotty' (Whatsundermykilt) in the race that 'Glen' (Glebogle) won on Cup Day because he's not as heavy as the other horse. Besides, I actually thought that the stake - for the main trotting event on Cup Day - was pitiful; they couldn't both win it."

Whatsundermykilt and Glenbogle, sons of three-win Kiltie Boy mare Happy Highlander, have now won 11 races each and over $515,000 between them. The mare's due to foal to Sundon any day soon, her connections hoping for a filly, and she will be going back to the same stallion. Oddly enough, Happy Highlander's first foal was the Greg Patron pacer Jimmy Patron, who Fairbairn trained to run three placings from 19 starts. Six seasons passed before Happy Highlander foaled again - that being last Friday's Dominion winner, who's noe eight. Glenbogle's a 7-year-old by Armbro invasion, and following since have been Highland Rascal (6yo gelding by Simon Roydon, six unplaced starts to date), Glenloch (4yo gelding by Armbro Invasion, unraced to date), Lexie Highlander (3yo filly by Armbro Invasion) and Tossthecaber (2yo gelding by Armbro Invasion). "Glenloch's away with the fairies at this stage, but can trot nice; LexieHighlander has been turned out and is not bad, and Kerry O'Reilly liked Tossthecaber when he broke him in for us," Fairbairn said.

Credit: John Robinson writing in HRWeekly 29Nov06

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