Injury ends Group One star’s career

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    Reigning Inter Dominion champion SMOLDA - Photo NSWHRC

    TO CONNECTIONS dismay, outstanding pacer Smolda has been retired.

    Co-trainer Mark Purdon made the tough call after discovering the reigning Inter Dominion champion has a tear in his tendon.

    “It is sad, but just one of those things,” Purdon said. “We don’t have them forever and got to be thankful for what he has given us.

    “He has done such a wonderful job over a long career and will enjoy a nice retirement now.

    “We haven’t made any arrangements, but a life as a riding horse would lovely for him.”

    Third upon debut as a three-year-old, Smolda finished the season with 10 wins and four placings from 15 starts, with his victories including the New South Wales Derby and Harness Jewels.

    Restricted to seven starts at four, the gelding registered four wins and two seconds.

    Making the transition to Grand Circuit company the following year, Smolda was a perennial placegetter in New Zealand, including events such as the Auckland, New Zealand and Easter Cups.

    The son of Courage Under Fire thrived under Australian conditions, where he captured the Inter Dominion, Len Smith Mile, Bohemia Crystal, two Ballarat Cups, along with the A G Hunter and South Australia Cups.

    “The Inter Dominion is his biggest win,” Purdon said. “He had a lot of great wins, but the Inter is the pinnacle of the harness racing calendar.

    “He was never the flashiest horse, not a showman, but more of a tradesman in the way he went about his racing.”

    A Vicbred pacer purchased at the Australian Pacing Gold Sale, Smolda’s record stands at 32 wins and 23 placings from 63 starts for earnings of $2,558,544.

    • PAUL COURTS

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