There are 200,000 reasons why rising Gavin Smith Racing Stables star Bright Diamond is tackling the big guns in tonight’s PGG Wrightson NZ Yearling Sales Series pace at Addington Raceway.
Despite his relative inexperience, the promising two-year-old showed enough in his debut effort for second last week at Rangiora to suggest he will more than hold his own against the best of age in the country when he steps out under the lights for the first time in the Listed feature.
“He won’t disgrace himself, put it that way,” Gavin said about the horse’s chances.
“He’s got all the makings of being a really nice horse, but there is no pressure on him.
“We will be looking to take all the short cuts and I think he will run on as strong as most of them if we can get a nice quiet trip in behind them.”
The son Bettor’s Delight was only one and a quarter lengths behind the talented Star Commander last Sunday on debut and Gavin advised he had improved off the back of that performance.
“He’s really come on with having the first run, and he will continue too as well because he’s still pretty raw.”
Bright Diamond’s appearance in one of the richest harness racing events of the season is the highlight of a busy night at he office for the stable.
Two-year-old trotter, B D Son will go around in the $70,000 trotting equivalent of Bright Diamond’s race, but Gavin isn’t quite as confident of a promising showing as he is with the pacer.
“We are still working him out a lot, we can’t really let him go at full speed yet so it’s hard to get a line on exactly where he is at, but we get some money for going around in it so it’s a nice wee return to the owners for just being there.”
Other stable trotters, All Settled Down and Di’z Luck will lock horns with each other in a wide open trotting affair later in the night.
Gavin wasn’t sure if he could split the pair, but did say if forced he would probably lean towards Di’s Luck.
“They are both going to need a lot of luck, but are more than capable of getting a bit of it if they bring their manners.”
A last start winner, All Settled Down will start from the unruly and is really relying on a drag into the race at some point to get over the top of them.
Jimmy Curtin will take the drive on Di’z Luck.
Of all his chances tonight though Gavin leaned towards Allison Stokke as his best chance.
A noted stand start horse, with a slick turn of foot early, there’s potential there for a nice run in transit which will bring her right into it.
“She’s gone quite well from stands over 2600 metres in the past and her work this week has been very good.
“I would say she is my best chance of the night, but they are all going to need that bit of luck to go their way.”
Gavin has also picked up a nice catch drive in one of the feature trotting events of the night in Kaikoura trotter, Doctor Bones.
The grey has more than his share of ability and wouldn’t be without a chance if he brought his best game along tonight.