APG graduate in top shape for Inter Final

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    A very relaxed Smolda enjoys a snack with caretaker Shaun - Photo JODIE HALLOWS

    FOR those wondering how things are travelling in the Smolda camp ahead of tonight’s Inter Dominion at Gloucester Park…here is you answer.

    Multi-awarding winning photographer Jodie Hallows caught up with the top New Zealander, which is relaxed and ready to fire in the $1.1million Final.

    Thrilled with the way the son of Courage Under Fire has recovered from the three heats, co-trainer Mark Purdon is confident Smolda can add to his impressive list of achievements.

    Purdon prepares his team with Natalie Rasmussen, who captured a record four Inter Dominion Finals with former champion Blacks A Fake.

    “I’m very happy with the way he went in the heats, with a couple of placings and a win in the last round,” Purdon said. “He has come through the runs well and the week off has really brightened him up.

    “I couldn’t be happier with him going into the Final.”

    Expected to thrive on the 2936-metre trip, the millionaire Australian Pacing Gold graduate has drawn poorly in barrier seven.

    As such the multiple Group One winner is likely to be forced to work overtime.

    “The draws isn’t the best,” Purdon said. “We’ll just have to wait and see how it unfolds at the start.

    “Hopefully he can land into a good position early and go from there.”

    • PAUL COURTS

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