Something as seemingly innocuous as a second or two could be the difference between a decent payday and an also ran cheque for Gavin Smith Racing Stables hopeful, Bright Diamond today at Ashburton.
The untapped two-year-old, who will today have just his third race day start, takes on the might of the All Stars in the Two-Year-Old Emerald worth $150,000 and has the added bonus of having drawn one, with raging hot favourite, Spankem drawn right next door.
“If I could have scripted it, that’s exactly what I would have wanted,” Gavin said.
“We haven’t had the best of luck when it comes to barrier draws in big races, so it’s nice to get one go our way for a change and now we just have to try and make the most of it.”
Gavin was clear that he’s almost certain there’s not much chance of getting past Spankem should he roll to the front and dictate terms. But dependent on what sort of tempo unfolds in front of him, he’s hopeful that he can hold his own up the deceptively long Ashburton straight.
“We are almost banking on him (Spankem) getting an uncontested lead I think, if he can sneak away with a 1:53 or 1:54 then we will be able to hold our own I’m sure.
“It’s if they go 1:51 that worries me to be honest, I just don’t know if at this stage of his career whether he’s mentally and physically up to doing that.”
After an encouraging debut second, Bright Diamond took on the big guns next time out and his inexperience was a major downfall at such a level, but he took plenty from it.
His effort for fourth last week behind the promising Gentle Giant was much more like it and the way he stormed to the line left Gavin feeling very encouraged.
“He went really good, it was a confidence building run for him.
“And he’s come through it super, and this past week has just been perfect.
“He looks incredible and everything is where it should be.
“Now we just have to go out and do the job.”
A Bettor’s Delight gelding, Bright Diamond will more than likely head to the paddock no matter what happens this afternoon.
And that’s the most exciting part about it all.
Despite the opportunity in front of him today, the best is still very much to come with a potentially big three-year-old season ahead of him.
“What he’s doing now, he’s doing on raw ability, next season he’s going to be a really nice horse.
“He’s taken his time to come up, we’ve covered a lot of miles but like most Bettor’s Delight stock he’s so relaxed and laid back and taken it all in his stride.”
Bright Diamond is owned by Gavin’s wife, Sara along with Frank Dooley, Neil Radford and Ian Kedzlie.
Gavin has just the one other drive on Jewels Day today and funnily enough it has drawn one as well
He jumps on Chevron Reward in the first of the day and she is very much in a similar boat to Bright Diamond in the fact that if they don’t run down the back too hard she can fill a hole from what looks like will be the trail behind favourite, Elle Mac.
“We just need to hold up and hope that Elle Mac gets it largely her way without too much pressure and try and be there at the finish.”