There’s a little bit of everything on offer this weekend from Gavin Smith Racing Stables.
Renowned for harness racing, things take a step to the other side early this afternoon when Madam Superior contests a 1200 metre fillies and mares maiden at Phar Lap Raceway.
Officially trained by Gavin, the daughter of Sahkee’s Secret has had one start for the stable for a seventh placing at Oamaru, but hopes are high for a good effort today.
Jillian Morris has been engaged to ride the four-year-old mare with Gavin ducking down to South Canterbury before heading back to get the team ready for Addington tonight.
“If Jilli is able to get her to jump handy I think she’ll be hard to beat,” Gavin said.
Back at Addington tonight, Gavin will drive a familiar horse to the stable who is taking a holiday on the beach.
A few months back, Gavin successfully won a two week package for a horse to be sent to the Robert Dunn stable at Woodend Beach at the fundraiser for Jonty Smolenski.
The prize, offered by John Dunn, Rangiora vet Sam Taylor and farrier Howlett is being used on Allison Stokke in an effort to get her racing with a bit of a spring in her step.
“She’s just racing a little bit flat, but hopefully a stay out there will help sharpen her up.
“The 2000m stand really suits her, so if she is on top of her game we will find out just how good John Dunn is I guess.”
The filly has been transferred into the Dunn’s name for tonight but Gavin will retain the drive.
Chuck Norris is also in action tonight but Gavin is using the racing to get a real line on where he was at after he was struck down by a bug at Nelson.
“He’s probably going to need the run to be fair, I’ve only just got him back to healthy after he got crook at Nelson.
“It’s a free one for him if he is able to win though and the last C1 stand.”
On Sunday at Rangiora, Oona will be looking to back up her impressive last start win at Addington when she takes on her own sex in a fillies and mares trot.
“She’s come through that run really well and seems bright.
“If she does things right she should be hard to beat again.”
Not quite as easy though is Imola who has proved to be a bit of a head scratcher.
They’ve gone back to basics with the capable pacer and are hoping for a good showing.
“We’ve changed everything after last time because he was just horrendous.
“His work has been good since though and at his very best he would be competitive, but I’m hesitant to label him.”
Melanie O’Hara is also in the same race with Kim Butt in the sulky. She raced very keen in the parked position at Forbury last week but is capable to turning things around if she relaxes from her wide draw.
Meanwhile potential Two-Year-Old Trotting Filly of the Year, Di’z Luck is Australia bound.
The speedy filly, who won a heat of the Australasian Breeders Crown a fortnight ago will head to the stable of Ross Sugars to compete on Redwood Classic Day and then head onto the Breeders Crown.
It’s not the first time Sugars has been sent a Kiwi two-year-old trotting filly to look after. He also did the over-seeing of Quite A Moment when she won her Breeders Crown.