Rockhampton based trainer Tom Smith kicked off the New Year in style with a race-to-race double at Callaghan Park, Rockhampton, on Wednesday.
Two-year-old filly, Yarralinda opened Wednesday’s account with a 2.25L victory in the XXXX Gold QTIS Two-Year-Old Class 2 Handicap over 1050m.
“She’s a pretty easy horse to work with; she does everything you ask of her. She’s everything you want in a racehorse, she’s got a big heart and strong determination,” Smith said.
“She’s not very big, but she makes up for it in heart.
“I thought she was the best horse in the race and had the ability to win it, the only thing was the weight (59kg), but I knew she was tough and thought she could handle the weight so yeah, we were pretty confident today.”
The Better Than Ready filly has now won three from five and a tick over $74,000 in prizemoney. After jumping fairly from the inside alley, she found the fence and the leader’s back, before moving up at the 200m and pulling away to win well.
Oswana was a tough winner in the second race of the day, bouncing back after a lacklustre run at Mackay three weeks ago. The Whittington gelding has always promised plenty at home, so it was pleasing for Smith to see him fight back after being headed by race favourite, Bold And Lucy.
“I was a bit worried for a while, but he found late … he’s a very nice horse, I’ve got a lot of time for him,” he said.
Both runners were partnered by Smith’s older sister and premiership leading jockey in Rockhampton, Elyce “Elly” Smith. The talented hoop had a day to remember, making it a winning treble aboard $1.35 favourite Moreno in the sixth race of the day.
The Wayne Pomfrett-trained 4YO did not jump well, but he mustered quickly to find the fence. It wasn’t pretty for favourite backers, with the official margin being only 0.2L, but he looks a nice horse to follow going forward.
“First time on the long straight we were a little bit worried, but he (Moreno) was too good,” Elly Smith said.
“Wayne (Pomfrett) said he’ll go to the paddock now and freshen up for late on this year.”
It was Moreno’s sixth win in just eight North Queensland starts since being relocated from the Chris Waller stable over winter.
In under 12 months of training, Tom has trained 13 winners from 50 starters, at a 26 per cent strike rate.
The 19-year-old only acquired his trainers license in March last year but has been around the stables his entire life thanks to father and fellow horse trainer, Fred Smith.
“I’ve had the stables in the backyard my whole life, watched Dad train racehorses and helped him out a bit,” Tom Smith said.
“I then went into breaking in first up on my own, from there I went into pre-training and then got my license in March and it’s been a whirlwind ride since then really.”
Both Tom and Elly have eyes for the $125,000 Capricorn Yearling Sales 2YO Classic in April with classy filly, Yarralinda.