No reins no worries for Smokin Bandar at Omakau

by Jonny Turner

It was a case of no reins, no worries for Craig Ferguson as Smokin Bandar sped to victory in free-for-all company at Omakau yesterday.

Ferguson dropped his right rein onto his dustsheet for all of a few milliseconds as his flashy grey powered along the passing lane to score.

The error came after the rein got caught in Smokin Bandar’s tale, and it was enough to see Ferguson cop plenty of friendly ribbing from his fellow drivers.

But through it, the reinsman kept his sense of humour.

“I am glad that he won because I might have looked like a bit of an idiot otherwise,” Ferguson said.

As the banter subsided, Ferguson was left thrilled by his horse’s performance.

The trotter brought patchy recent form to the 2000m mobile but he got conditions to suit, and he made the most of them.

“I was really happy with him; he left the gate well and he felt really good – he was nice and relaxed in the running and he sprinted up well.”

Smokin Bandar could head to the North Island following his victory to tackle the big line-up trotting features to be held through summer and into the autumn.

Ferguson is yet to finalize any plans, but if the horse continues to work and race as well as he is, he will find himself in the North Island.

“I think he could go north; I will talk to the team first and look at a few possible races for him.”

“So long as he stays sound and is going well enough, there is no reason not to head towards those better races.”

Smokin Bandar’s win added to an already big day for owners Tom and Julie Kilkelly.

The couple also enjoyed success with Captain Meister, who could not be stopped when dragging a flat tyre to win race 5 for trainer-driver Kirstin Green.

The Omakau passing lane was paved with gold in its feature races yesterday with Franco Indie speeding along the inner to win the Central Otago Cup.

Blair Orange gave the Mark and Nathan Purdon trained pacer a perfect trip in the trail behind the leader One Change throughout the 2000m feature.

Once clear, Franco Indie sprinted up stylishly to score.

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