What happens inside the first couple of hundred metres in tonight’s Anzac Cup at Alexandra Park will ultimately determine the chances of Gavin Smith Racing Stables star, Great Things Happen.
Fresh off the plane from Australia and back into New Zealand racing tonight the exciting trotter has been handed the one on the second line barrier draw for the Group One event, following out leading contender, Lemond.
Gavin knows that he’s got a horse good enough to win the race, but he also knows the big son of Love You is going to be better suited to the 3200 metre distance of next Friday night’s Rowe Cup.
So it will be a case of holding the breath and seeing what might eventuate.
“The draw may work out good if Lemond can hold up,” Gavin said.
The decision to send Great Things Happen to Australia and into the stable of Ross Sugars proved to be a grand one with the powerful trotter making an impression during his Australian sojourn.
He had seven starts for four wins and close to $50,000 in stake earnings, but all of that was cheap in comparison to the experience and chance to mature that was afforded the gelding while he was there.
After landing back in Auckland this week, Gavin was apprehensive about how the travel would affect his chances this week, but it was all guns a blazing.
“I’m really happy with him,” Gavin said.
“He was very bright jogging and I’ve got to say he’s in great order, the Sugars have done a great job with him and treated him as though he was one of their own.”
The Rowe Cup next week might be the big aim, but Gavin isn’t afraid to take his chance if it presents itself.
“Next week suits us more for sure, but he can win if he stays close to the pace.”
Gavin has picked up the drive on Dauntless tonight for Ted Edwards who owns a share in Great Things Happen.
Back down South at Addington, stable junior driver Ashleigh Stewart will be in control of the ship with three runners engaged.
Stewart will handle the driving duties on All Settled Down in a wide open junior drivers’ trot and also Allison Stokke in the last race of the night in which she looks a leading contender.
The stable will also have two-year-old trotter, Quaestor, stepping out on debut with Gerard O’Reilly in the bike.
The Revenue filly is the first foal from Armbro Starlet who Gavin trained to win two races. Armbro Starlet is a half-sister to outstanding three-year-old trotter, Enghien.