Leading contenders at Awards
Gavin Smith Racing Stables are in line to be rewarded on one of the biggest nights of the year.
The stable has two leading contenders to pick up awards at the annual Harness Racing New Zealand Awards Ceremony at the Mashina Lounge at the Christchurch Casino on Saturday, July 30.
Group Two Premier Mares’ Championship winner, Tangos Delight is in with a show of picking up the title of Five-Year-Old and Older Pacing Mare of the Year.
The daughter of Bettor’s Delight raced on 25 occasions during the season, winning four races and placing on a further six occasions for stake earnings of close to $60,000.
She goes up against Art Critic, Lancewood Lizzie and Saharazona.
Lancewood Lizzie, a former Harness Jewels winner, is expected to be the toughest opposition for Tango’s Delight based on the fact that she won five of her 8 starts for the season and ran third in the Group One Queen of Hearts at Alexandra Park.
Tangos Delight is back in work at the Fernside stable of Phil Burrows, where she started her career.
Owned by Ronnie Dawe she’s won six races during her 43 start career and picked up 12 minor placings.
Her Premiers Mares’ Championship victory makes her a valuable broodmare already but a Horse of the Year title would further enhance her stocks in the breeding paddock - especially considering she is a daughter of the incomparable Bettor’s Delight.
As well as Tangos Delight, Di’z Luck is also in with a chance of a title in the Two-Year-Old Trotting Filly of the Year.
Despite having never won a race, her third in the 2YO Trotting Stakes gives her a strong chance of taking home the prize over her rivals; Ruthless Kayla, Our Rosa, Winnie Magoogan and One Bid Buys.
Voting for the Awards closed last Friday.
Winners are decided by a panel of media and communication representatives from within the industry.
There are 29 votes in total.
As well as his own two horses, Gavin could find himself on stage as part of the Sunny Ruby team.
The Sam Smolenski trained mare will square off with Harriet Of Mot for the Four-Year-Old Trotting Mare of the Year Award - continuing a strong rivalry between the two mares.
Gavin and Sara return from holiday on Tuesday after some time away in Rarotonga.
The stable will have three horse’s engaged at Addington on Thursday night with Oona taking on NZ Trotting Oaks winner, Wilma’s Mate in a heat of the Australasian Breeders Crown.
He’s Like The Wind is back in action and takes on a wide open field of C1 trotters in a mobile 2600 metre event. If he is successful the win will be penalty free meaning he remains in the C1 grade.
The promising Imola will resume in the final race of the night, but does so from the worst barrier draw.
The Jereme’s Jet colt will start from the outside of the front row in the 1950 metre mobile. He is also nominated for the Timaru Harness Racing Club's meeting on Sunday along with stablemates; Allison Stokke, Melanie O'Hara, Chuck Norris and debut runner, Badentyre.