Group 1 winning trainer Ben Smith delivered a knockout blow to punters when he landed a long price double at Saturday’s Newcastle’s race meeting. Smith trained his first double on his home track when Lunar Spin and Kanavu were successful both at the juicy odds of $26. Lunar Spin raced by Sydney based syndicators, Dynamic Syndications was having his second start for Smith when he contested the 1300 metre Benchmark 64 Handicap.
The gelding raced ungenerously when restrained first up from a spell when seventh at Coffs Harbour on July 22. The trainer was not surprised by Lunar Spins win. “He fired up when a horse crossed him at Coffs Harbour and he fought the rider for three hundred metres. I changed the gear on him in his trackwork and I got him comfortable with the nose roll which he wore for the first time today. Lunar Spin had been working well and I was confident he would run well. I will hand pick his races and there are a few more wins in him yet. I have thirty horses in work and a dozen of them are owned by Dynamic Syndications, so it was great to train another winner for them.” Smith said.
Forty minutes after Lunar Spin’s victory, Smith was in the winner’s circle again when his recently turned three-year-old colt Kanavu won the 1200 metre Maiden Handicap. Kanavu was on debut and his trainer wasn’t as confident about the colt’s prospects as he was of his stablemate in the previous race. “I have a good opinion of Kanavu but he won today’s race on pure ability. He had four barrier trials and he kept improving but he is not quite there yet. I will probably give him another run or two then spell him. He will come back a more mature horse”
The win of Kanavu was satisfying for Smith as he purchased the colt at an Inglis Ready To Run Sale for $110,000. He advertised Kanavu on his website and he filled the syndicate of seventeen within twenty-four hours.
Smith said on Saturday that his The Everest runner In Her Time will have an exhibition gallop at Newcastle on Newcastle Cup Day September 14, then a barrier trial five days later and first up into the Premier Stakes on September 29. The other Group 1 winner El Dorado Dreaming will trial next Monday, and she has been set for the VRC Oaks during the Melbourne Spring Carnival.
Australia’s premier trainer Darren Weir was successful with his only second Newcastle starter when former French stayer It’s A Silvertrail outclassed his rivals in the 2900 metre Hunter Stayers’ Cup. The Ballarat trained nine-year-old settled back in the field but he was racing keen so Andrew Gibbons let him rip around the 1000 metre mark and he raced to the lead. He bounded away to win by 3 ½ lengths.
Maitland trainer Ken Lantry produced the longest priced winner of the day when $91 chance Lady Wahoo was an easy winner of the final event a 1200 metre Maiden Handicap.