Trainer Peter Smith has revealed that consistent sprinter Play Master will be set for the 2015 Aurie’s Star Handicap at Flemington on August 8 after he made his black-type racing debut with a victory in the Listed All Victoria Sprint Final (1200m) at Flemington on July 11.
Play Master was settled in behind the speed by jockey Craig Newitt in the All Victoria Sprint Final and he travelled into the race beautifully before he hit the front at the 300 metre mark and held off the fast-finishing Lonrockstar to deliver strapper Gary Parkinson – whose brother-in-law backed Play Master before passing away on Tuesday – an emotional victory.
Smith told Racing Ahead that he was absolutely delighted to have claimed a Listed race win with his first ever runner in a black-type race and he confirmed that he is keen to chase more Stakes glory with Play Master in the Aurie’s Star Handicap.
Play Master has not had a lengthy spell since he took out the Red Tempo Handicap (1000m) at Flemington on December 20, but Smith believes that his unique training method of keeping the Masterprint gelding in a one acre paddock throughout his racing preparation helps the six-year-old stay up for a lengthy campaign.
“I think what we will go to is the Aurie’s Star and that is in a months’ time,” Smith said.
“That gives me the opportunity to give him a week of not much work with just a bit of walking to freshen him right up and that gives us three weeks to prepare for that.
“One week I would say is that the horse has had ten runs this prep, but there is no real need to spell him because of the way that we train him.
“He will tell us one day – he will run a poor race which he generally doesn’t do – and one thing he is is a superior wet tracker and his last run on a wet track was 12 months ago at Sandown and he hasn’t seen once since.
“I’ve had him in this time of year thinking that you would get a wet track, but it just hasn’t played that way.”
Smith, a former plumber, only has a small team of less than 20 horses at his Benalla-based stable, but he has had four metropolitan victories this season and currently sits just outside the top fifty in the 2014/2015 Melbourne Trainers Premiership.
Play Master has now recorded ten wins from his 25 race starts to date and he has accumulated over $300,000 in prizemoney for connections.