EXCITING squaregaiter Great Things Happen equaled Monbet’s New Zealand record when triumphant in this afternoon’s Trotting Free-For-All at Addington.
Great Things’ victory has strengthened Gavin Smith’s desire to eventually take on last term’s star.
Smith, the Rangiora trainer-driver of Great Things Happen, registered his first Group One training win, and loves being competitive.
“I’d love to be racing Monbet and Habibti Ivy, and going head to head with Monbet. Hopefully, one day we will,” Smith said.
But that won’t eventuate for some time as Monbet recuperates from injury.
In Monbet’s absence, Smith has the favourite for Friday’s Haras Des Trotteurs Dominion at Addington and says backing up won’t worry the son of Love You, despite a blood scare pre-the New Zealand Cup meeting.
“All the bloods on my three were out a little, which is not what you want going into a Cup meeting,” Smith said. “I treated Great Things Happen pretty aggressively and I think we got on top of it before it came to anything.”
Smith says Great Things Happen has matured now and he’s confident the gelding will cope with the gruelling race week.
“It’s pretty exciting at the moment. I just hope nothing goes wrong,” Smith said. “He’s such a great stayer that the 3200 metres will really suit him.”
During his latest win, Smith had room to switch Great Things Happen off the markers when Marcoola, who drew the ace, moved out to attack for the lead after the opening 300 metres.
He was happy sitting parked with the confidence his horse would outstay his rivals.
To that end, he put the pressure on Marcoola at the 400 metres before striding striding clear toscore from Everybody Knows and Doctor Bones in 1:56.9 over 1950 metres.
This was Great Things Happen’s 13th win from 29 starts, taking his earnings to $186,117 for co-breeder Ted Edwards, and Sara Smith, wife of the trainer.