Tracey Preston is expecting the well-travelled King Of Smarts to give a strong account of himself in his New Zealand debut at Hastings today.
The Levin horsewoman has been pleased with the seven-year-old’s progress ahead of the Awesum Organics Handicap (1200m).
“I’ve had him about four months and he’s had two jump-outs,” Preston said.
“In his first one over 850m he flew home for second and in the second one on a heavy track over 1000m he dead-heated for first.”
King Of Smarts trialled in Australia before he was gelded and sent to Hong Kong where he won once over 1200m, in the hands of former New Zealand apprentice Kei Chiong, for trainer Derek Cruz before his relocation.
“His owner wanted to get another one so he moved this horse on and Sam Collett, who’s riding him tomorrow, helped to get him for us – she knows one of the owners,” Preston said.
“I’m still learning about the horse, but he’s thriving here and the way he’s been working I think he can run in the money.”
King Of Smarts, who hasn’t raced since July, will also find conditions in his favour at Hawke’s Bay.
“The harder the track is the better it will be for him,” Preston said