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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

Mostly Spirit will be in search of a winning hat-trick as it makes its Tasmanian debut at Devonport tonight. The Union Guy-Sky High Curves four-year-old gelding has won its last two starts and is now in the stables of Northdown trainer Geoff Smith (pictured). “Mostly Spirit arrived from Victoria last Friday and I’m very happy with the way he has settled in,” said Geoff. “His owner John Davidson and I go back a long way and he rang me after the gelding won at Mildura and asked me to have a look at the race and if I liked what I saw I could race him here, he arrived four days later.” Mostly Spirit has won three of its 27 starts and has drawn the second line tonight in race two the  CUB Pace. “We gave him a few days off after he arrived and he has worked nicely since, I’ve gone for Rohan (Hillier) to drive him tonight as he looks and feels as if he needs to be tapped along to keep his mind on the jump,” said Geoff. “He went 1:59.9 for the mile when he won at Port Pirie in June so he’s got the ability and I’m looking forward to seeing him in action.” Trainer John Castles has the favourite Flying Wingard against the newcomer to the state along with the popular pick Keep Playing in the opening race on the eight-event Devonport card and Chirac in the Claimer. The Phil Mascall owned and trained four-year-old mare Origin Tara and five-year-old mare My Ruby Rose, prepared by Rohan Hadley, are the leading hopes in race six the John McKenna Race Night Pace over 1930-metres. Both mares have a win and two placings to their credit this season with My Ruby Rose winning at Devonport in last month while Origin Tara greeted the judge in Launceston in May. Tonight’s Devonport Harness Racing card commences at 17.12 and may be viewed via the live stream service at tasracing.com.au. UBET is offering a $899 Jackpot on the Double on races 4,5 and a $500 jackpot on the Quadrella on races 2,3,4,5.   Shane Yates

Our harness racing tipsters are having a bit of the winter blues at the moment with less than inspiring results some weeks. Last week saw only two of our tipsters pick winners with Sean McCaffrey and Nathan Williamson doing the honours but we did have eight placegetters and some of those such as Shane Walkinshaw's pick, Takitimu Express paid good money ($4:20) This week we have four meetings in the country and we have picks for them all. Forbury - Thursday night Nathan Williamson - Thought Spinyback was overdue and could win race 2 Shane Walkinshaw - Thinks on his work this week, Jetsdream will win race 4 Craig Ferguson - Gives Mordecai a good chance of going back to back in race 6   Auckland  - Friday night Steven Reid - Reckons Concorde even from barrier 8 will be hard to beat in race 2 Scott Phelan - If Superimposed has any luck from his bad draw,he thinks he can win race 2  Todd Mitchell - Thinks the millionaire Vulcan can add to the bankroll in race 6 Steve Richardson (TAB) - Thought Vice Consul from the front line could win race 7 Tony Herlihy -  Gives The Almighty Johnson a big chance of winning race 8 John Dunn - Rates Return To Sender as hard to roll in race 9 Mark Jones - Thought Rocker Band would be very hard to beat, also in race 9   Addington - Friday night Bob Butt - Quite bullish about the chances of the two year old Matatoki in race 1 Terry Chmiel - Thinks Maddison Hill can upset them in race 2 Tim Williams - Gives Bird Of Paradise a big show even from the second line in race 6 Gerard O'Reilly - Reckons Zin Zan must win one shortly and thinks it will be in race 7 Ricky May - Thought the southern raider Tetrick would be hard to beat in race 8 Brendon McLellan - Agrees with Ricky that Tetrick will be hard to beat in race 8 Matthew Williamson - Reckons Springbank Eden can get the chocolates in race 9   Timaru - Sunday afternoon  Blair Orange - Thought the first starter My Cash would be hard to beat in race 3 Gavin Smith - Very bullish about the chances of Great Things Happen in race 4 Brad Williamson - Reckons Kylie Castleton can bounce back and win race 6 Jim Curtin - Gives Insignificant a chance to upset them at odds, also in race 6  John Curtin - Thought Naughty Maravu only needed some luck for a change to win race 8 Robbie Holmes - Thinks Contractual Issues will be hard to hold out in race 10   Harnesslink Media

Tasmanian harness racing trainer Geoff Smith has been riding the crest of a wave of late and it has a lot to do with a couple of horses that recently arrived at his Port Sorell stables. At Devonport on Monday night one of those new stable tenants Stareeshar scored an impressive win in the Maxfield Drilling Pace for C1+ pacers over 2286 metres. With Craig Hayes in the sulky, Stareeshar set a cracking pace and at one stage had established a 40-metre lead without seemingly being pushed hard to achieve that goal. The chasers closed in over the final 300 metres but the gelding was still able to find a bit more when seriously challenged in the home straight to go on and score by 3-1/2 metres from Next Sound with Touchwood Topsta a close-up third. It was Stareeshar's second win from only three starts for his new stable, having won first-up at Burnie at that club's first meeting under lights on May 16. The horse had been sacked from two other stables before landing in Smith's care. "I can't explain his improvement," Smith said. "I have done nothing different with him than I have with any other horse in the stable." "I've put a hood on him and let his hopples out a couple of inches, but that's it," he said. Smith was very impressed with Stareeshar's recent effort. "It might have looked like he had a hard run in front tonight but he wouldn't have blown a candle out after the race," Smith said. Peter Staples  

Harness Racing trainer Geoff Smith has not been spending a lot of time in the winner's circle of late but his luck changed at the inaugural night meeting under lights at Burnie tonight. Smith prepared the first winner on the lit Wivenhoe Showground in the form of form of Buckingham Boy that had been in the racing wilderness for over a year before landing in Smith's care and the veteran trainer snared his double when Starsheer led throughout to win a standing start race over 2180 metres (race 4). It was an incredible win as the lightly raced six-year-old gelding was last entering the back stretch the last time but with Craig Hayes in the sulky he produced a scintillating finish to come wide on the home turn and rattled home to grab victory over race leader Odins Call Girl in the very last stride. Smith said the horse was owned by Eddie Murdoch but he had managed to negotiate the purchase of the horse on Thursday for $2000. Listen to what trainer Geoff Smith had to say about Buckingham Boy's win at Burnie. Peter Staples

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