Day At The Track

Smith winners keep coming

08:56 AM 12 Feb 2019 NZDT
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Aitutaki,Harness racing

Northdown trainer Geoff Smith is riding the crest of a winning wave with another winning double in Launceston on Sunday night, and loving it.

Geoff has enjoyed his best start to a calendar year for a decade with five winners coming in five weeks which has seen him catapult into eighth spot on the trainer’s premiership table.

Aitutaki (pictured), driven by John Walters, came from a mile back on the home turn to win the Dakin Refrigeration Stakes over 1680 metres while Vapour Glenn burst through late to take out the Carlton Draught Pace.

“They are flying for me at the moment, both horses scored impressive wins at Scottsdale in January and then they both ran fourth at their next start and have bounced back strongly tonight” said Geoff.

“We had a sulky change out on the track with Aitutaki but fortunately that didn’t interfere with his performance, John (Walters) has worked him out, he needs to be held up until the 300-metre mark and then let him loose.”

Aitutaki, formerly in the care of owner Adrian Duggan, has had six runs for Geoff for six cheques.

“When we got him he was out of the draw, we changed some gear and re-shod him and worked him out of a paddock, and not that hard he seems to be thriving at the moment with two wins, two placings and two fourths,” said the Northdown trainer.

“Vapour Glenn really surprised me tonight, Rohan (Hadley) found a gap late in the straight and he surged through to hit the line strongly.”

Geoff admitted winners have been a little light on in recent years but is hoping things are heading in the right direction.

“We’ve had Midair Meltdown win at Devonport recently and we’ve got a few good types coming through including a full-sister to my old stager Dodgermemate, she’s a two-year-old and moves well so I have hopes set high with her, but for now we are enjoying our start to the year,” said Geoff.

Gareth Rattray steered home a winning double on the eight-event card with the Dick Eaves prepared El Jays Mystery running down the popular pick Inner Light in the shadows of the post to win by a head and completed a race-to-race double with Brooke Hammond’s Moonlite Bay notching up its second win from just three career starts taking out the Harry Holgate Memorial Final.

Rowley won the opener for Sally Stingel and Paul Ashwood, The Aussie powered away with the Discretionary for Devonport Cup winning duo Juanita McKenzie and Rod Ashwood while Riley Coyote scored its first win for over two years for Steve Lukac and Rohan Hillier and Ben Yole and Natalee Emery combined with Jeans Mattjesty to win the Claimer.


Shane Yates

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