News

Admiral steers right course

NZ HARNESS NEWS

Auckland Reactor-sired three-year-old Admiral showed some of his dad’s blazing speed when he came from last on the turn to win at Addington and Canterbury trainer-driver Gavin Smith predicts there is more in store.

‘’He’s pretty quick and has a really good turn of foot if you save him up.

“He’s maybe not at Auckland Reactor’s level, but he’s still only young and he’s been improving with every start, so who knows how far he will go. I’d be happy if he ended up half as good.’’

Smith said Admiral had shown ability as a younger horse.

“He trialled up really good as a very early two-year-old in September [last year] … then he had a big growth spurt and grew into quite a big size and we had to back off him and let him mature.’’

 Not many horses come from so far back at Addington to win on wet tracks but Smith always felt Admiral was travelling well last Friday night.

“I still thought I was a shot turning in because he was travelling really nice but with 50m to go I was starting to get a little bit worried, and I thought third might have been my lot.

“But he put in that last dive right on the line. He made me look a bit better than what the drive probably was.

“You don’t see a lot come from that far back at Addington and the sectionals he ran on a wet track were pretty good really.’’

He clocked 2:26 for the mobile 1950m, the last 800m in 60.7sec and the 400m in 29.1.

Smith said the speedy gelding had been stirring interest, but a small abnormality on a hock had put off any potential buyers so far.

 “We’ve been marketing him to sell, but he failed a vet test about three weeks ago on a matter that I don’t think is a concern at all.

‘’He got a kick in the hock, but it’s not structural and it doesn’t affect him and he’s not sore. One hock is a fraction bigger than the other where he got kicked.

‘’It hasn’t stopped him and it’s the same as it was six months ago and I don’t see it being a problem ever.

‘’There’s been lots of interest, but no-one has come up with the money.

“I don’t expect him to hang around for long but we’ll decide what to do later if he doesn’t sell. The owners might race him in Aussie themselves.

“Another win or two here and he has to start taking on the best ones. I think he’ll probably be a notch below them but you never know, another break and he might get a little bit stronger.

‘’He hasn’t stopped improving yet.’’

He’s the only Auckland Reactor in the stable.

“I wouldn’t mind more like him.’’

Admiral and Rock N Roll Heaven three-year-old God Only Knows both won at Addington for Smith and both are now being freshened for six weeks.

Smith said Mach Three-sired maiden three-year-old filly Shebang, a half-sister to Offtocullect (four wins), who debuts at Addington on Friday night, has shown promise and trialled well.

‘’I’ve got quite a bit of time for her. It’s a small but very strong field and she’ll need a bit of luck, but I do expect her to work through the grades. She is pretty smart.

“She’ll continue to improve with each run and I wouldn’t be surprised if she ended up in some of the better [filly] races later in the season.’’

- NZ HARNESS NEWS