If Tuesday was the entree then there’s a real excitement around what Great Things Happen might offer up for the main course today at Addington.
Winning Group Ones is special and the enormity of what ‘Teddy’, as he’s known around home, achieved on Tuesday certainly wasn’t lost on Gavin Smith, but there has been one main goal for this early stage of the season with the big son of Love You - winning the Dominion Handicap.
Prior to his victory at Ashburton last month, the Trotting Free-For-All wasn’t even really being considered.
“It’s a nice bonus, but the Dominion has always been the aim,” Gavin said.
“We initially only put him in the Free-For-All because he came out of the gate so well at Ashburton which of course become defunct when he drew the second line.
“But it worked out so well and winning a Group One on Cup Day is something very special and as a trainer it’s the pinnacle.”
Gavin’s confidence in Great Things Happen has never waned.
He’s said he’s got one of the best trotters in the country and while some may have raised eyebrows, the horse has done the talking and a few critics were silenced on Tuesday and are now quickly jumping onto the bandwagon.
Following Tuesday’s three-length demolition job, Gavin had blood tests taken to ensure that all was on track with the gelding and was pleased with the results.
“His bloods were great yesterday, he pulled up super.
“That night he ate everything up and was as bright as button the next morning and most importantly, he probably didn’t take a lot out of himself in the race because he did it so well within himself.
“I can’t see any reason why he won’t back up.”
Backed into $1.75 for the Group One event today, Great Things Happen will revert from mobile racing back to the stand, but due to his sensible nature that shouldn’t provide too many issues.
“He generally bounds away pretty well, I’m not too worried about that.”
Should he be successful today, Great Things Happen will become the 19th horse in the last 71 years to win the New Zealand Trotting Free-For-All and Dominion Handicap double.
Away from the big go, it will be a busy enough day for the stable with three other chances engaged.
Imola is backing up after his Cup Day effort in which he didn’t disgrace himself.
He drops back from the elite company to a lower grade race today.
“He’ll appreciate the drop in class that’s for sure,” Gavin said.
“If he got a nice trip, he could place.”
Red Moon Rising is also on the back up after slightly underwhelming on Tuesday after getting back in the field and Gavin wonders if the spelling paddock is calling his name.
“I just felt he was entitled to hit the line a bit better than what he did.
“Perhaps the Ashburton run has flattened him, so we will give him a freshen up after this start.”
The stable’s final chance comes from the in-form Miracle Rising and Gavin isn’t quite sure what to think.
“He hasn’t worked good around home for over a year, but has always raced well.
“This week he has worked good, so I don’t know if that’s good or bad.
“He’s good enough to win if gets a little luck.”
Gavin has outside drives today on Shpeedy, Spondulicks and Sails.