Day At The Track

Gavin Smith is hoping patience pays off

08:36 AM 17 Aug 2018 NZST
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Great Things Happens,Harness racing
Great Things Happens has had a minor setback
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Gavin Smith is hoping his patience pays off at Addington tonight.

What Smith has done with stable star Great Things Happen and what he would liked to have done with him are two very different things.

What he has done is craft a short but sometimes spectacular career, punctuated by breathtaking wins in races such as last season's NZ Free-For-All at Addington.

On days like that Great Things Happen looks the equal of any trotter in Australasia outside of Monbet but when he resumes as a seven-year-old at Addington tonight it will be just his 32nd start.

Which is not what Smith has wanted.

He would relish a 12-14 start season, taking on the numerous group one opportunities for the open class trotters. He hopes that finally comes true this season.

"That would be great, to be able to race him for a full season," says Smith.

"But it just hasn't worked out that way. Last season, he had a recurring problem with a quarter crack and I thought I could keep patching it up and having half seasons with him or give him the whole six months off and start again. So I put the horse first and missed a lot of big races last season. But his feet are now great."

They have looked that way in recent trials when Great Things Happen has dominated in the style of a fresh-up winner in what looks a perfect race tonight.

"He obviously isn't at his peak and is still pretty round but he should still win," says Smith.

"Then he can have another race and we will give him a short break, get ready for Cup week and start thinking about things like the Inter Dominion and all the big races later in the season.

"But it is great to have a horse like him back."

Although the domestic harness scene lacks any other stars this weekend, Harness Jewels winners Princess Tiffany and Another Masterpiece take on Aussie's best in semifinals of the Breeders Crown at Bendigo on Saturday night.

Trainer Mark Purdon is thrilled with both horses but slightly concerned by their barrier draws, particularly the second line marble for Another Masterpiece.


Michael Guerin

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