Day At The Track

Smooth sails into Soldiers success

02:32 PM 18 Dec 2018 NZDT
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Smooth Sailor,Harness racing
All smiles . . . connections following Smooth Sailor's Soldiers Saddle success at the Gold Crown Paceway.

CROOKWELL mentor Dennis Picker gained much satisfaction from the win of Smooth Sailor ($12.30) at Bathurst on Saturday night when the six-year-old took out the 2018 edition of the $15,900 Bathurst RSL Soldiers Saddle (1730m).

Driven by talented young reinswoman, Codi Rauchenberger, Smooth Sailor came with a storming run over the concluding stages of the race to blouse his more fancied rivals, getting the judge’s nod by the barest of margins, a half head.

Rauchenberger settled the son of Sportswriter into a trailing position one out and two back at barrier rise, which she was happy to secure given the brisk pace that was being set by the leaders.

Down the back with 600 metres to travel, Codi made her move three wide.

It took Smooth Sailor a little time to wind up as the third quarter was posted in a fast 27.6 seconds. However, when the leaders started to feel the pinch on straightening for home, the gelding joined in quickly and stuck his head out right on the line in a blanket finish.

Favourite for the race, Scarlet Babe ($1.70, Bernie Hewitt) took a sit early and used the sprint lane but just failed.

Pacemaker, My Secret Beach ($7.10, Isobel Ross) was brave in defeat as she was pressured throughout and was only beaten by two and a half metres ahead of a wall of horses with only six metres separating first to eighth.

Picker bred Smooth Sailor from his Brioso Hanover mare Sailing Sovereign who won eight races for him including one at Menangle when she was a three-year-old.

The gelding is raced by his partner Jamie Smith who recently gave birth to their baby girl Zoe, so the win capped off a memorable fortnight for the popular couple.

Saturday night saw a healthy crowd in at the Bathurst Paceway, many of whom were enjoying the lead-in to the festive season and it was a night of multiple successes for a number of participants.

Nathan Turnbull was able to land a winning treble and started the night off with a bang by scoring in the opening two races on horses that he trains himself.

Carramar Times Up ($5.90) came with a storming run to take out the Town & Country Rural Supplies Pace (1730m) while Reverse Psychology ($4.20) led throughout and scored with ease in the Eureka Gold Pace posting a fast 1.55.5.

Later, Nathan steered Sabrage ($9.00) to a solid all-the-way win in the fast class event for his father Steve.

That completed a winning training double for Steve as earlier in the night Coolie Kid ($3.20) produced a brilliant run after doing plenty of work to find the death chair and then race away with a seven metre victory and in doing so, recorded the fastest mile rate of the night of 1.54.5 with Mitch Turnbull in the gig.

Bernie Hewitt snared himself a winning training and driving double to brush aside his disappointment of narrowly missing out in the Soldiers Saddle.

Lets Katchmeifucan ($1.50) posted a quick 1.54.7 and was very strong in his win in the Ian & Coral Miller Pace (1730m) while the royally bred youngster, Make Mine Memphis ($1.20) scored the easiest of wins in the Coffee Shop Three Year Old Pace.

Dennis Picker ended the night on a high when he was able to quinella a heat of the HRNSW Rewards Series to give him a double as a trainer.

With Dennis in the gig, Miss Fernandez ($1.60) narrowly got in over stablemate Blues Terror.

The remaining winner on Saturday night’s program was Studleigh Stride ($3.20, Jake Davis) in the second heat of the HRNSW Rewards Series, capping off a good night for punters as he was he was the fifth favourite to score.

Craig Dumesny

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