*Photo courtesy of the Digital Birdcage
With uncut gems on the line, a princess would be a more than fitting winner tonight at Addington.
And Gavin Smith feels he has the perfect candidate for a major race success in one of three new races to the calendar at tonight’s meeting - the Uncut Gems.
Smith picks up the drive on North Island mare, Rocknroll Princess in the $40,000 event and the pair will be looking to emulate their effort when they last combined at Addington, which saw them impressive victors.
The Steve Telfer and Chris Garlick trained mare hasn’t been sighted since the Harness Jewels, but will relish a drop in class for tonight’s assignment - even from her outside of the second line draw.
“She was massive the last time I drove her at Addington,” Smith said.
“Her bad draw at the Jewels over a mile pretty much took her out of play straight away, but back to the 2600 metres should really suit her I think.
“With no real superstars in the mix she has to be a pretty big show.”
Domiciled at the Robert Dunn stable on Woodend Beach while in the South Island, Rocknroll Princess should start close to favourite in what is a reasonably even looking field.
Her potential in the second race of the night could see Smith kick off in style on what should be a good night at the office.
He has a number of his own runners engaged at the meeting, including the reigning two-year-old Trotting Filly of the Year, Di’z Luck who is again a chance in an open maiden trot.
Smith was blaming himself her for her last start effort at Ashburton but is still realistic about her chances tonight.
“She was driven upside down last time out, as she is better saved for the one run.
“We’ve got a tough draw this week, but she will be running on strong at the end of things.”
Smith will chase a second uncut gem when He’s Like The Wind lines up in the trotters’ event - taking on the likes of Lemond and Dark Horse.
He too disappointed when heavily supported at Ashburton.
“He was awful,” Smith said.
“So I’ve upped his workload and made a few changes in his diet.
“I wouldn’t say I’m sure he’s 100 per cent, but at his best he could probably lead them up and place I think.”
All Settled Down will also line up for the North Canterbury trainer, and on her best day she would go close to winning tonight in an even field, but her chances often are a reflection of her mood and manners.
“I’m not sure a big gap in between her races was the right thing for her last time.
“She’s good enough to win, and her work has been strong, but she will need to behave and get that little bit of luck.”
Smith’s final runner tonight is arguably the most exciting prospect in his stable in two-year-old Bright Diamond who looked set to cause a major upset short of the post at the Harness Jewels before he laboured late and finished fourth.
“I thought his run was super, we were over the moon with it.”
The promising colt lines up in a $8,000 two-year-old event tonight and even with some quality opposition on hand to try and spoil his party, Smith still feels he’s a big winning chance.
“I think he will be hard to beat, even with some really nice types in there.”
Smith also has a decent each way chance early in the night with Sharknado who will operate from a handy draw for Phil Burrows.