Gavin Smith referred to his “good run” as he graciously accepted congratulations for yet another winner in Fairview on Tuesday. “Good run” is a typically humble way of saying it from the Eastern Cape’s current top coach. The truth is that Smith is killing it and has won more than a third of the races in the region in the past month.
Tuesday it was four out of eight, at the meeting the previous Friday it was three out of eight. Number order means he will win five this Friday when racing on the grass. Indeed, he could.
Smith will send 22 runners for the eight races and a good number of them will be at the top of the betting boards.
For starters, he will likely annex the first three races, with Pinnacle, Forest Spy and Legitimate. It’s as easy a Pick 3 as you’re likely to find, but don’t expect a big payout.
Four-in-a-row is not out of the question as the recent acquisition of Smith yard Duke Of Orange made an encouraging local debut at the end of February following its transfer from Durban.
The championship’s lead jockey, Warren Kennedy, is the partner of all four of these horses and the confidence he shows in Smith runners could take him to what would be a memorable foursome.
Jockey Julius Mphanya is the hot-seat man aboard Smith’s aptly named Masterful in Race 6 – the horse that could spawn the magical five. This young rider is clearly dealing with Masterful like a house on fire, having ridden him 16 times for five wins and a number of places.
More? The odds are against, but Smith has opportunities in Race 7, with Blue Duchess and Bold Diva.
But racing teaches us never to get ahead of ourselves. Gavin Smith knows this, so he won’t exaggerate his claims about this meeting.
He would suggest that we stick with his riders in the first three or four races and gratefully collect the money.
1: 10 Pinnacle, 5 Feeling Foxy, 7 Glitterfox, 12 Sugarberry
2:1 Forest Spy, 4 Orange Red, 6 Likeable, 3 I Wanna Bamba
3: 3 Legitimate, 1 Tarantino, 2 You know who, 7 Red Bishop
4:8 Duke of Orange, 3 Vanderbilt, 7 Dawn Raider, 1 Abayyaan
5: 4 Silver Slippers, 1 Sailaway With Me, 3 Back To Formentera, 12 Nova Stella
6: 2 Masterful, 3 Born as a Star, 6 The Ghan, 1 Imperial Decree
7: 6 Meercat, 9 Irish Willow, 2 Blue Duchess, 3 Bold Diva
8: 3 Paris Opera, 7 Africanroyaljewel, 5 Timkat, 6 Shield Maiden
Choose 6: 1.3 x 1,3,5,7,8.11 x 1,3.4 x 1,2,3,6,8.12 x 2,3,6.9 x 3.7 (R1728)
FATHER: 1.4 x 3 x 3.7.8 x 4 x 2.3.6 x 2.6.9 x 3 (R54)