Smith hopeful great things will happen


One of the forgotten stars of the open class trotting ranks is slowly but surely building towards a return to the races.

And while Gavin Smith can’t quite put an exact finger on when he’ll hope to have Great Things Happen back at the races, he’s just happy to have the big trotter back in action.

The son of Love You, who won last season’s New Zealand Trotting Free-For-All, has been off the scene for six months but has been undertaking a tentative build up in fitness which has culminated in two strong workout wins in recent weeks.

“He’s felt good both times,” Smith said.

“I clocked him to run his last quarter in 27 on Wednesday and he did it pretty easily.

“There’s still a few wee niggles there, but I think he’s going to end up having them for his entire career; they’re not new or anything.”

A winner of 13 races and close to $200,000 in stakes, Smith has never wavered in his opinion of the horse and has always believed he was capable of mixing it with the best of the best.

But his wish for this season isn’t so much about success as it is longevity.

“It would be nice to get a season out of him really.

“We’ve looked after him pretty intently throughout his career to date and probably over-reacted a bit to somethings and opted not to push him too far.

“But at the moment he’s as sounds as he’s ever been and trotting well so hopefully we can get a decent crack at it.”

With two workouts under the belt, Smith now has to make some decisions about what to do next.

A race is possible, but after six months away from racing, he’s cautious that the horse is still well underdone in terms of fitness.

That means it’s likely he’ll have another public run or a race and then head back out for a couple of weeks to freshen up before returning later in the spring with the Ashburton Trotters’ Flying Mile, which he won last season, the main target.

“If we can get to there, then we can take it one step at a time.

“He’s been away for so long, I don’t want to push him too early, he’ll tell us.”


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