By Jonny Turner
Gavin Smith enjoyed reminding everyone of his class in the sulky during a double-cup winning weekend.
Smith got Waitangi weekend off to a great start with a winning double at Addington on Friday night with Trot To Chevron and Skyvale.
The reinsman completed a double of a different kind when driving Sam’s Town to win the Amberley Cup at Rangiora on Monday.
The victory followed up Smith’s win with Heston Hall in the Waikouaiti Trotters Cup just a day earlier.
“It was a good night Friday, a good day Sunday and then another good day again today.”
“With Tim (Williams) in Australia and Bob (Butt) unfortunately looking like he is going to have surgery on his back, I have been fortuitous to pick up a few drives that I wouldn’t normally have.”
“But it was good to get the job done and remind people I haven’t forgotten what I’m doing.”
Smith clearly hasn’t forgotten how to give a horse a perfect run, given Sam’s Town led and then trailed in his Amberley Cup win.
“Things worked out good for him, he managed to get away good and get off the fence and get around to the front.”
“He had a nice trail the last 1200 when the speed went on, so things went to plan and he is racing bloody good.”
Sam’s Town, the big striding grass track specialist, took a few strides to get into his work up the passing lane, but once he did he extended nicely to win.
“He didn’t hit the lane with the punch he felt he would before the bend, but once he wound into it he was strong to the line.”
Heston Hall impressed when Smith found the top and stayed there in Sunday’s Waikouaiti Trotters Cup.
The Bob Butt trained trotter put away a field filled with much more experienced horses than him in style.
“He bowled along good in front and he was going as good at the line as he was turning in.”
Smith’s outstanding weekend as a catch-driver somewhat ironically comes at a hugely busy time for his own stable.
The trainer-driver is operating two stables – at Rangiora and Woodend Beach – and he’s excited about the stock he has coming through.
“I’ve got a nice team, there are a few more about to hit the track again now.”
“There are some new ones and I am doing a few preps with the babies, working out where they sit in the pecking order – working out which ones are going to carry on and race and which ones are going to go back out.”
“There will be a few two-year-olds start to step out soon.”
Sam’s Town and Smith’s Friday night winner Trot To Chevron were both produced to win by trainers Robert and Jenna Dunn.
The Dunn stable enjoyed an outstanding weekend themselves with four winners on Amberley Cup Day and three winners at Addington on Friday night.