SMOLDA SHOWS HE’S UP WITH THE BEST
Little fish might be sweet but many harness racing fans at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Sunday, February 28, were left thirsting for more.
More Smolda that is, after the magnificent son of Courage Under Fire obliterated Global View’s world record of 1:53.4 set in March 2015 in accounting for his rivals in the $A100,000 Group One Bohemia Crystal Free-For-All.
Smolda (Mark Purdon) rated 1:52.7 for the 2400m journey to leave many racegoers wishing he was lining up in the Miracle Mile later that afternoon.
After drawing the inside of the second row, Smolda eased in the market just before the jump and looked in danger of being stuck in a pocket behind Major Crocker going up the back the last time.
Still when (Our) Sky Major, trained by Mark’s brother Barry and driven by leading reinsman Blake Fitzpatrick, began to drop off before the home turn after a tough run, Smolda and Mark Purdon found a path away from three-back on the pegs and surged into calculations as they headed for the home turn.
Purdon had no hesitation urging Smolda into the death seat and turning for home Smolda finished full of running to account for the surprise packet of the race Iam Mr Brightside (Robert Morris) with Major Crocker (James Rattray) showing something like his best form to hold third after leading.
Smolda’s splits for the final mile were 29.5s, 28s, 27.6s and 28s for a 2.7m win and a deserved place in history . . . unfortunately not as a Miracle Mile winner but nonetheless still one of the best horses in Australasia.
Purdon couldn’t hide his admiration for the seven-year-old gelding: “It’s a time-honoured race and there’s a lot of great horses here.
“He’s a great horse and I knew we were rolling all the way. He felt great in the race and I was worried about our position but the chance came to get off and I had to take it.
“This horse means a lot to us. We bought him from Australia and he’s always had a special place in our hearts.
“He’s had his problems along the way but he’s come back every time. We just love him.”
Courtesy of . . .