From motherhood back to the track
She hasn’t been seen at the races for coming up three years, but All Settled Down has been a busy girl in between times.
The full-sister to former Gavin Smith Racing Stables good performer, All Shook Up, suffered a serious injury after just one career start and despite an extensive rehabilitation period issues continued to plague her.
So Gavin and the mare’s connections decided to give her a lengthy spell in the paddock and at the same time put her in foal.
But today, the now six-year-old daughter of Sundon will resume her racing career when she lines up at the Kurow meeting at Oamaru.
“She has a yearling colt by Majestic Son who is a really nice type,” Gavin said.
“I’m not sure how long her legs will stand up to racing so she has a booking to Love You this year.
“We will probably put her in foal and race her as long as she can.”
Gavin has always had a lot of time for the mare and rated her as potentially a better prospect than her sister, who won five times.
A trial win at Rangiora last week, in a two horse heat showed that All Settled Down is ready to resume in style today.
She did it all on her own from the 500 metre mark when her rival galloped by still trotted her last quarter in 28.8 to win strongly.
“She should come on quite a lot with that run under her belt.
“I didn’t want to give her another trial just in case she broke down again.
“It would have been a shame to go through all the work for her to break down the trials without racing.
“She’s good enough to win this week, her time at the trials should see her competitive enough I would think.
“At her best I thought she was good enough to win four or five races pretty easily.
“Hopefully we can get that far.”
All Settled Down is one of two horses on the float to Oamaru with maiden pacer, Badentyre also in action.
The Real Desire gelding will head to the paddock at some point in the next few weeks for a break, so going out on a winning note would be a nice way to round off a tidy first campaign.
The four-year-old has raced four times and never finished futher back than sixth with his last start fourth at Addington a pointer towards better things despite Gavin being slightly disappointed with the performance.
“I thought he should have found the line a bit better than what he did.
“But we have a good draw to use this week and if we can settle handy to them he should be right in the fight.
“I’m not sure whether we will give him one more start after this before we head to the paddock, or if we go straight after this week.
“We will see how he goes.”
Gavin has five drives on the programme today with his own two horses plus three others who all hold each way chances.
Ideal Arden will contest the Kurow Cup fresh up but was an impressive winner at the Rangiora trials last week after sitting parked.
The Bruce Hutton horse picked up a strong double at the Nelson meeting back in June and his stand start manners will see him a live chance in many races.
Longevity will be looking to go a couple better than her good third last Sunday, but will have to do it from the outside of the front line.
Gavin has also picked up the drive on Pegasus Dream for Noel Taylor. A tough, free-going trotter, the gelding has had two runs back this campaign and should be close to peak fitness for today's assignment.