Chasing more wins
There’s 16 wins on the board already, but Gavin Smith is hungry to add a few more to the tally before Summer is out.
With things quiet in terms of his own racing team, Gavin has turned his attention to outside drives and will take seven of them today at Timaru with the promise of some good results should things go their way.
A couple of drives for the Cran Dalgety stable give Gavin two of his best chances while a catch drive for young trainer, Jack Harrington is also high up on the list too.
Chevron Express and Runaway Star both hail from the Dalgety barn and the former in particular looks a good chance.
“The maiden trotter has probably been unlucky not to win one yet,” Gavin said.
“It looks a race that should be right up his alley so hopefully with some good manners we can be right in the fight.
“The horse of Mark Jones’ has always been a nice type so it might be the hardest to beat.”
Gavin was on board Runaway Star at Ashburton on Boxing Day when she ran fifth, and said although on face value she might have appeared disappointing, he was reasonably happy with the effort.
“She went alright I thought, and this week it’s a wee step up but if she can get the right amount of luck I think she could surprise a few people with how well she will go.
“She’s definitely not the worst that’s for sure.”
Gavin also has the drive on Bailey’s Knight for Jack Harrington.
A winner at Ashburton on Boxing Day the well bred pacer gets a chance to string two together in an open final race of the day.
“He was very good at Ashburton, especially after sitting parked.
“Jack has to drive his other horse, Romanite, because he owns it so it’s nice to be able to pick up a drive on him.
“For a young trainer he’s doing a really good job.”
Gavin’s other outside drives include Come And Go and Big Is Good for Trevor Harkness, Missie Castleton for Lachie Marshall and It’s All Over Now for Barry Ward and he felt all would need luck to be winning chances.
Meanwhile, Great Things Happen, who ran a cracking third in last week’s National Trot, will fly to Australia next week.
“I couldn’t have been more proud of him last week. After his preparation and everything else, he probably deserve to get as close as what he did.
“It was a great performance.”
The five-year-old will fly out and join the stable of Ross Sugars with a programme still to be determined.
Gavin won’t be making the final decision either, he’s completely handing the reins over.
“He will be their horse to decide what to do. Initially the plan was to just work him through the grades over there because he gets in so well.
“But with the lack of real stars in the trotting ranks at the moment it might be a good opportunity to have a crack at the Great Southern Star.
“The change to one race over 2700 metres is a big plus for him. But ultimately the decision will be up to Team Sugars.
“They will see how things go once he gets over there.”
The news isn’t quite so bright for rising talent, Red Moon Rising.
The promising three-year-old was discovered to have a hole in his tendon which is why he didn’t race at Auckland on New Year’s Eve.
“We have got onto it pretty early and it appears only to be a minor injury.
“Looking at him now you wouldn’t even know he had a problem, he’s at home and looks good.
“But we won’t be rushing him, we will get it sorted and then go from there.”