Australia is where it’s at for Gavin Smith Racing Stables star trotter Great Things Happen.
The progressive trotter, who made big strides in a short campaign at the latter stages of last season, is still in the paddock but Gavin has made his intentions clear that he’s very unlikely to start in New Zealand in the first half of this season at least.
Instead, the big son of Love You will head to Australia and most likely the stable of Ross Sugars to do the majority of his five-year-old racing.
“There’s just more opportunities for him over there and we won’t have to line up each week and take on the likes of Monbet,” Gavin said.
“I was going to nominate him for the Dominion Handicap, just in case, but the nomination fees are ridiculous so we decided not to.”
Gavin intends to get the seven race winner up to close to 80 per cent fitness before sending him over the Tasman.
“He can race for good money each week over there and then at the end of it we can bring him back and have a real crack at open class late in the season or even next season.
“I’m in no rush with him, he’s just going to keep getting better.”
His departure will mean Gavin doesn’t have to relinquish the drive on Sunny Ruby in the feature trots which is a bonus.
The Sam Smolenski trained mare left a few tongues wagging with her seven and half length trial victory at Rangiora on Wednesday.
“She did it pretty easily, they were going pretty slow so I whipped around them to the front and she ran a quarter down the back in about 28 with a wind behind her.
“It probably looked more impressive than it was considering it was a trial but I was really happy with the way she felt, she should have a good season.”
Gavin’s potential New Zealand Trotting Cup drive, Cullect A Guiness also trialed, finishing secont to Locharburn in a slick performance.
Meanwhile, stable junior driver Kimberly Butt will handle the stable duties today at Oamaru. Gavin and Sara are in Australia to take in the action at the Breeders Crown Finals Day this afternoon at Melton.
“We had tickets booked in case Di’z Luck ended up there so we are heading over to catch up with some friends for the day.”
Butt will take two horses to Oamaru - Allison Stokke and All Settled Down.
A strong second last week from Allison Stokke behind Rummage looks even better now after the Brendon Hill trained gelding won again on Thursday night.
“She went good again, and is closing in on another win I think,” Gavin said.
“My only concern is that 2600m might be right at the end of her range.
“I’ll be saying to Kim to try and get across and get handy early on and then we can take it from there.
“There’s a couple of nice races in the next few weeks for her and she’s going well so I’m hesitant to send her to the paddock just yet.”
All Settled Down is on the quick back up from Thursday night after things went far from well for her in her first start out of maidens.
“I didn’t bustle her after that because she was in on Sunday. She’s good enough to very competitive but she does need to get things right.”
Kim has made a good start to the season with two wins on the board already from just 15 drives and she will be looking to add to that today.
Just one win shy of 50 career wins in the sulky she has just the one other drive on Rostriever Victory in an earlier maiden event.