News & Events

Smolda equals NZ mile record in Harness Emerald

The best was saved to last on Harness Jewels Day 2012 at Cambridge Raceway when Smolda equalled the New Zealand mile record of 1:52.1 in today’s (Saturday June 2) $150,000 3YO Emerald.

It was a phenomenal performance by the Mark Purdon and Grant Payne trained gelding. He and co-favourite Ideal Scott had a real ding-dong battle for the lead before Purdon took control down the back straight the last time.

Then at the top of the straight Purdon released the brakes and then amazingly the son of Courage Under Fire found again to stretch out to win by five lengths and along neck from Lets Elope (Frank Cooney) and Bettors Creek (David Butt).

No pacer has gone faster except for Kiwi Ingenuity in the Jewels Final at Ashburton in2009 when she also stopped the clock in 1:52.1.

Smolda paced his last 800m and 400m in 56.7 and 29 seconds.

It was a complete form reversal after Smolda finished sixth in a lower graded event at Alexandra Park last week.

Purdon actually contacted Racing Integrity Unit stewards and reported that he had blood tests taken on him. They returned free of any apparent irregularities.

“He’ sbounced back well. He’s always shown a lot of potential and today he has come of age. I always thought he was capable of running a quick mile. To go faster than what Auckland Reactor went is amazing,” Purdon said.

Smolda was one of four quality horses Purdon bought at the Australian Pacing Gold Sales in Melbourne in 2010. Smolda was the most expensive costing $53,000. The others were Fly Like An Eagle, Mr Nickel, and Living The Dream.

Purdon said Smolda would now head to the Breeder’s Crown in Australia in August.

”No I won’t be Racing him as a 4-year-old in the New Zealand Cup in November. He will spell after the Breeders Crown and then next season his main targets will be the 4-year-old races later in the season,” Purdon said.

Smolda is owned by Mrs Glenys Kennard, P. I. Kennard, Noel Pilcher, and M. A. R. Kirkwood. He was bred by P. B. Blackshaw.

Smolda has now won 10 of his 15 starts $401,184.

By Duane RANGER (Harnesslink editor) at Cambridge Raceway