Warmer Days Ahead
Two thirds of tonight’s Gavin Smith Racing Stables team at Addington might find themselves out in the paddock before the end of the month.
But there’s unfinished business to take care of first and victories tonight would spell the perfect way to sign off on a winter racing campaign.
Gavin has been waiting for the weather to warm up a bit before sending some of the team off for a spell and as the days get a little longer and the mercury sits a little higher that time is fast approaching.
Heading the list is trotting mare Oona who has had a mixed first campaign for the stable - but has been racing in fine fettle recently.
She has won two of her last three starts, but was savaged in front last time out and the effort told late in the race.
“She never really got a breather,” Gavin said.
“Unfortunately when it mattered she wasn’t able to find anything because of that early work.”
Drawn the outside of the front line tonight, the task won’t be easy but it has been made somewhat easier by the fact that the highly touted Brads Kenny has drawn one of the second line.
“Even from the draw I’d like to think she will be right in it but our chances are going to depend on how much luck Brads Kenny can get from his draw.”
Another runner destined for a spell in the near future is Allison Stokke.
The New Zealand record holder ran third in her first race for season behind Stars Align and Luciano on August 5.
Tonight she has the services of stable junior driver, Kim Butt, in an even junior driver field and a swift beginning could be key to her chances.
A normally good beginner the daughter of Bettor’s Delight hasn’t been showing a clean pair of heels lately but the chance is still there for one out of the box.
“This could be her last run for this campaign, I’m just waiting for it to warm up before sending her to the paddock.
“She’s been pretty naughty from behind the stand lately, but she was very good last start after working hard during the race.
“It’s a pretty even field with a lot of winning chances, but she could capitalise if she was to get a good run.”
The stable’s third runner tonight, Imola, is still on the comeback from a spell so won’t be heading to the paddock any time soon.
The Jereme’s Jet gelding is in good form with two good thirds from his last two starts but he faces his second bad barrier draw in a row.
“He’s racing well, and is a realistic place chance if we can get some luck from another bad draw.”
Gavin has two outside drives tonight with Nic Mac Willy and Longevity on his card.
Nic Mac Willy, who is trained by Steven Hale was a good second last start and seems to race best when it front. Longevity should be able to get a good trip on the markers from her second line draw.
As well as her drive on Allison Stokke, Kim has two drives on family horses.
She pairs up with her brother Chris to take on Oona with Craddock.
A winner for Kim a few weeks back, the talented trotter could be the surprise packet of a good field of trotters.
Her other drive is Prestine, who is bred and owned by her grandmother Jenny Butt.