Big week for Smolenski
By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk
Sunday will kick-off a busy couple of days for Mark Smolenski.
The Weedons horseman will line-up Sophia Bromac in the Jackie Orr Memorial (Junior Drivers) Pace (2600m) at Addington Raceway on Sunday before offering a seven-strong draft at New Zealand Bloodstock’s National Yearling Sale in Christchurch from Monday.
Sophia Bromac is one of only two horses in work for Smolenski and he is hoping she can improve on her string of runner-up results.
Out of top racemare Life Of Luxury, Smolenski was set to breed from Sophia Bromac last year, but he elected to take the advice of driver John Dunn.
“I booked her into Always B Miki and John Dunn said she should carry on for another year and get a good mile rate and she would win another three or four,” Smolenski said.
“I took his advice and will carry on and breed from her later this year. She is nicely bred.”
Smolenski admitted it has been a frustrating experience running second in her last three starts, but he believes the step-up to 2600m should benefit his mare.
“She has been a bit unlucky,” he said. “They have been good runs but she should have won her last three starts.
“She can stay and there aren’t many 2600m races around nowadays, they are all sprint races. She will appreciate the longer distance.”
Being on the unruly in the 17-horse field doesn’t concern Smolenski, who has faith that driver Mark Hurrell will put her into the race.
“She has got great manners, but every time I put her in a stand she draws one and she has jumped sideways and missed away. I put her on the unruly for that reason,” Smolenski said.
“It is up to the driver to put them in the race at some stage.”
If victorious, Smolenski won’t have much time to celebrate as he heads to Canterbury Agricultural Park a day later to offer seven yearlings at NZB Standardbred’s yearling sale.
Smolenski is particularly excited about offering lot 261, the full-sister to Group One winner Krug.
“She looks nothing like Krug, she is the complete opposite really – she is bay, he was brown; he was quite a solid horse, this filly is quite athletic,” Smolenski said.
“She is not overly big, but she is extremely athletic, and I like what I see.
“Naturally there has been a fair bit of interest in her and it is perfect timing when you are going to the sales when you have got a pin-up full-brother.”
Smolenski has also received positive feedback about lot 332, the full-sister to Group One winner Jacks Legend.
“Everyone that has looked at her said she could be a sales topper. She is a pretty impressive looking filly, so time will tell there,” he said.
Smolenski is also looking forward to offering lot 198, the first foal out of three-time Group One winner and Australian All-Aged Trotter of her year, Sunny Ruby.
“I have got Sam’s (Smolenski) Majestic Son filly out of Sunny Ruby. She won three Group Ones and went 1:54. This is the first filly out of her,” Smolenski said.
“Those horses that have got top pedigrees and first foals out of top mares, they usually sell well.”