Day At The Track

Bargain buy in NSW for Northdown trainer

06:35 AM 16 Jun 2020 NZST
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Chris Be Quick, harness racing
Chris Be Quick, pictured earlier in the season with Hannah Van dongen in the sulky, gave North West trainer Geoff Smith a double in Hobart on Sunday.
Greg Mansfield Photo

Northdown-based Geoff Smith shared the training honours at the relaunch of harness racing in Hobart on Sunday night - thanks, in part, to a camping holiday in New South Wales 12 months ago.

It was while he was away that Smith bought Chris Be Quick who, along with stablemate Midair Meltdown, was among the 10 winners at the comeback meeting.

Ben Yole and Rohan Hillier also trained doubles.

Smith explained that he was on a caravan trip last year when he pulled up at the Bathurst Showgrounds.

"There were some horses going around so I unhooked the van and went over to have a look," he said.

"I started talking to a bloke and asked him if he had any horses for sale. He said he didn't but he knew a bloke who did, due to the breakup of a partnership.

"Anyway the next day I met this other bloke who turned up with his horse in a jogger. It was a nice horse but he wanted $25,000 for him - apparently it cost him $35,000 as a yearling.

"I said I wasn't interested but the next morning he was there again and he yelled out to me over the fence to make him an offer.

"I said I'll give you $8000 right now and I bought him."

Chris Be Quick had won only one race at the time but has since won another five for Smith who was very confident about his chances on Sunday night.

"He went 1:57 in a trial at Mowbray so I knew he was going well," the trainer said.

Smith said Midair Meltdown was a horse that needed to get things his own way.

"He got a nice run into the race on Sunday - a good cart-up," the trainer said.

"I thought I could also win with my other runner Laid Back Kenny but barrier 2 wasn't a good draw for him because he likes to sit back and get home. He pulled too hard sitting outside the leader."

Smith kept all 13 of his horses in work during the shutdown and now has 15 in his stable.

"I've got 12 ready to go - I'm just waiting on some trials at Devonport," he said.

Greg Mansfield

Reprinted with permission of The Advocate

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