Day At The Track

Smolda caps off successful Aussie campaign

06:42 PM 26 Apr 2015 NZST
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Talented harness racing performer Smolda capped off a sensational Australian campaign for New Zealand’s power couple Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen with his win at Menangle just moments ago.

With Rasmussen in the cart, Smolda caused a minor upset in the Len Smith Mile – securing the feature in 1:50.6.

After enjoying the perfect one-one trail, the son of Courage Under Fire scored by two-and-a-half metres from Beautide, with Lennytheshark two metres away third.

The gelding’s victory provided the duo with consecutive Group Ones, having annexed the rich Australian Pacing Gold Final with Our Waikiki Beach less than an hour earlier.

Last week Smolda captured the Group Two Renshaw Cup at Penrith.

“I couldn’t be happier with that run,” Purdon said. “As I have said before, he was racing well back home without any luck and has really thrived at his two runs in Australia.

“He got the great trail today and Natalie drove him to perfection.

“It was very pleasing to see him finish the race off like he did.”

Along with Our Waikiki Beach and Smolda, Purdon/Rasmussen have also enjoyed victories with exciting youngster Follow The Stars.

Also triumphant at Penrith, Follow The Stars was a cut above his rivals in the Caduceus Cup at Melton last Friday night.

With Luke McCarthy in the cart, the son of Art Major rated 1:56.8 over 2240 metres to easily account for Mister Wickham and Wingara.

Interestingly, all three winners are Australian-bred!


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