Chasing glory in both Islands

Gavin Smith thinks Red Moon Rising is pretty good, but just how good might be found out tonight at Alexandra Park.

The impressive debut winner jumps from the relaxed atmosphere of a Sunday afternoon on the grass track at Methven to the hustle and bustle of a premier night of racing at Alexandra Park tonight in what is a classic case of straight from the frying pan and into the fire for the three-year-old.

But if he’s going to live up to the expectations of his trainer, then Red Moon Rising should be able to handle the assignment.

Based at the Northern stable of Robert Dunn for the campaign, Red Moon Rising has handled his first trip away well.

“Robert said he’s really happy with him this week, so hopefully that means we are on the right track,” Gavin said.

“If he is what I think he is, he should be hard to beat but he still has to prove it to me on the track.

“It’s a pretty big jump from his first race though.”

Gavin has managed to secure the services of Dexter Dunn to drive the horse tonight which is a bonus in any situation.

“He’s not a bad seat-warmer, and I’ve got too much going on here with young ones to be away so it makes sense to use guys who are available up there.”

The stable also has Lagarto engaged in a heat of the Young Guns series – and will be looking for improvement after the first up fourth last weekend.

“We’ve gone back to the half blinds as opposed to the full blinds as he got lost and didn’t handle the bends very well.

“It was all a bit too much for him probably, but from the draw this week we should be able to drop back and get a quiet run and see if he has improved.”

Blade will fly the stable colours at Addington tonight with former employee, Loren Lester handling the driving duties.

Gavin is on the search for his 500th career driving win and has a couple of strong chances in American Tart and Pretty Janice.

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