Smith drives first winner 

By Jonny Turner

It’s a case of one goal down and on to the next one for Simon Smith after he scored his first win as a driver with Rocknroll King at Oamaru on Sunday.

The 20-year-old wasted no time in registering his maiden victory in the sulky by producing a well-judged front running steer in just his fifth drive.

Smith admitted he got a big thrill the 4yr-old, trained by his employer Robert Dunn, strode past the winning post clear in the lead.

“It was a big thrill getting that first one out of the way,” the reinsman said. 

“It just took a few drives, which was good.”

Smith does not plan to rest easy after scoring his first driving win.

As well as the securing more drives and racking up more driving wins, the horseman will chase his first win as a trainer.

“I have got two or three to do of my own in work,” Smith said.

“I have a wee 2yr-old, who is a three-quarter brother to Wainui Creek by Betterthancheddar, who goes alright.”

“I have also got a couple of trotters for my old man, who go alright.”

Having stock bred or raced by his family should be a big asset to Smith’s stable.

Smith’s parents, Marty and Vanessa Smith, are co-breeders and co-owners of New Zealand Trotting Derby winner Lotamuscle.

The junior driver’s grandfather, Peter Smith, is the breeder of all time trotting great Lyell Creek.

Smith’s training and driving career started at Woodend Beach and it is unlikely to move elsewhere in the near future.

Smith said he had thoroughly enjoyed his experiences, which have led to him landing a job with John Dunn at Robert Dunn’s South Island base.

“I started off with Davey and Catherine Butt, I was just a boy and they got me in to the game,” Smith said.

“I did six months with Regan Todd and then Johnny asked me if I wanted a job with him.”

“We are all sort of a family at the beach.”

“I lived with Davey and Cath for a while and Regan was like a bit of a brother to me.”

Smith was at St. Bede’s college before he tried his hand at harness racing.

He competed in trials for around a year before getting his junior driver’s licence at the start of the new season. 

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