One more week up the sleeve would have been simply ideal for Gavin Smith Racing Stables Group One jope heading into tonight’s Premier meeting at Addington.
But Gavin hasn’t got another week to work with, so it’s a case of hoping for the best, while taking on the best, this evening.
Contesting the Group One Paintlab Racing For Jonty New Zealand Trotting Derby is three-year-old trotter, He’s Like The Wind.
The brother of well-performed Gavin Smith Racing Stables trotter, October Rain was disappointing last time out when favourite and will need to show every ounce of his ability to beat a raging hot field of trotters in the Group One event.
“I have had a few issues with his blood since that last run.
“They are coming right, but another week would have been perfect.”
A good performance tonight would cap off a great week for part owner Ashley McKay who trained her first winner as a thoroughbred trainer on Thursday at Oamaru.
McKay, a successful jockey, has recently gone into partnership with her father, Russell at their Ashburton base and Flytime’s win yesterday at Phar Lap Raceway got the wheels in motion as their first winner.
Blade will carry the moniker of the stable’s biggest hope of the night when he opens up in the first race on the programme.
An eye-catching fifth last week behind Anychance, points towards a good showing again tonight from the three-year-old son of Mach Three who is owned by renowned North Island racing photographer, Trish Dunell.
“We had no hope from where we were going down the back straight, so I was pretty pleased with the way he found the line,” Gavin said.
“He’s racing good and is getting better with each run although he’s still not reaching the level we thought he would.
“But at least he’s improving.”
Drawn the second line again tonight, the big pacer will need luck in the running again, but there’s an air of confidence about his chances if things go their way.
“It’s another bad draw, but he can win it. He just needs that bit of luck in the running.”
Blade was also accepted into the field for the Group One New Zealand Derby, but he has been scratched.
Gavin has two outside drives tonight it two of the other features on the programme.
He drives Callenberg for the Robert Dunn stable in the Gordon Roxburgh Memorial and then teams up with Sunny Ruby in the Fred Shaw Memorial New Zealand Trotting Championship.
Narrowly beaten by Monbet last week, Sunny Ruby is on top of her game at the moment and will be sure to give her connections a great show in the Group One event.