Top pacer Smolda is set to resume on Friday at Addington after producing a brilliant performance at the Rangiora workouts on Saturday.
In need of a stern workout, driver Natalie Rasmussen opted to take the comeback five-year-old away from the trail at the 600 metre mark to race outside star filly Venus Serena.
The pair then raced away from the rest of the field to win by some 15 lengths, but it was Smolda who had a head advantage at the line.
Smolda recorded his last mile in a very quick 1-57.3, however that wasn’t an inch on his staggering last half of 54.5.
"He was good" Rasmussen said, in what was a complete understatement. "I was quite happy with him. He felt the part and didn't blow too hard so he is not far away''
West Melton trainer Geoff Dunn was also more than happy with Venus Serena’s effort in running second.
“She was a bit flat after getting back from Auckland but she is really good now. That should top her of nicely for the Sales Series Final on Friday.
Another to trial up well was superstar trotting mare, Habibti, who proved far too strong for a field of maiden pacers.
“Her bloods weren’t dead right last week which is why we scratched, but she seems real good again now,” said co-trainer-driver David Butt.
Habibti will now compete in the Summer Trotting Free-For-all on Friday, where she will go head to head with Dominion winner Master Lavros and talented up and comer Royal Aspirations.
“It should be a good race. I’d say the barrier draw is going to be pretty crucial,” concluded Butt.
By Mitchell Robertson