A new name from the Gavin Smith Racing Stables team steps out today with Art Official filly, Art Banker making her debut at the Rangiora Harness Racing Club meeting.
The three-year-old filly, who is a half-sister to the former stable runner Late Mail who is now doing a good job for Chris McDowell, has been patiently handled by Gavin at workouts and trials and he holds her in reasonably high regard.
“She’s the sort of filly who I think will pick one up fairly quickly,” he said.
“But we are probably going to need a bit of luck from the draw today and she will improve with the run and the experience.
Art Banker won her first trial back in October as one of the first two-year-old’s to step out for the season at Ashburton then she bettered two minutes when in a workout on her own at the same track a week later.
Allowed some time to strengthen since then, she’s come back a bit stronger and is ready to tackle the racing caper.
The stable has one other chance in at today’s meeting with All Settled Down going around.
There was a big victory at Methven last Sunday when she trotted the entire but Gavin isn’t entirely convinced that she backed up from racing on the Friday night at Addington.
“The gear changes have helped I think and we got around last time.
“She just didn’t back up that well, but it was a tricky race for the back markers to get into.
“On her best behaviour she’d be competitive today.”
Gavin has a few outside drives at the meeting today including two for the John Bartlett stable which is on fire currently.
He takes the reins on Got A Beauty and King Size for the North Canterbury trainer and both have solid each way prospects.
Bird Of Paradise, who won at Methven, will relish a drop in class for her assignment and couple get herself right in the action if there is a decent tempo up front while his other drive is Ian Ayres, a maiden trotter from the Phil Burrows stable who got it all wrong on debut last Sunday.
Meanwhile Gavin was over the moon with the fresh up performance of Allison Stokke to run third fresh up on Friday night but he’s still scratching his head a bit about Di’z Luck.
“Allison Stokke went great, that was a perfect result considering we needed the run, she’ll come right on from that run.
“I don’t think Di’z Luck can see out 2600 metres yet. We were going to get the perfect trip until a horse dropped out and we got left three wide but she was done a long way from home.”
The stable is still on the lookout for owners for one of three horses purchased at this year’s Yearling Sales.
Suave Punter, a Bettor’s Delight colt still has options available and Gavin is keeping a share in the colt himself after the way he has broken in.
A recent video of him in action, along with out two other purchases, can be seen on our Class of 2017 Page which can be found here:
Art Banker's first trial win.