Never say die attitude gives Smedley Ruakaka victory

Smedley horse
Smedley punches through for a win at Ruakaka on Saturday. Picture: NZ racing Desk.

Smedley again showed the dour side of his nature at Ruakaka where he successfully defended his ITM Whangarei Gold Cup title.

The rising nine-year-old regularly hits a flat spot in his races and part-owner and trainer Clayton Stevenson emphasised that on Saturday to his rider Jordan Nason.

“I said don’t give up on him, he always gets a second wind and he’ll keep coming,” Stevenson said. “It was Jordan’s first ride on him so we’re all really pleased.”

Smedley beat Candle In The Wind to take major honours in 2016 while Stevenson’s late father Dick prepared the son of Colombia’s half-sister Letsgoparty to win the Cup in 2008.

“Dad liked the family and after she first trialled he went out and bought the mother,” Stevenson said.

Smedley enjoyed a cosy run on the fence and he responded to Nason’s urgings with a sustained finish that saw them triumph in a driving finish from the local hopes Kaharau, Zafrenzy and Greencast.

The gelding got home by a head and much to Nason’s relief as he lost an iron about 150 metres from the post.

Smedley has now won three times at Ruakaka to go with his five successes at Ellerslie and one apiece at Dargaville and Pukekohe Park.

“He gets a bit restless when he goes further away,” Stevenson said. “He’s fine travelling down there on the truck, but when he stays somewhere overnight he just doesn’t settle or eat up.”

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