Former Hong Kong galloper Smart Volatility scored his first win on Australian soil with a nose victory in the Listed $160,000 Crowe Horwath Ramornie Handicap (1200m) at Grafton today.
Smart Volatility ($21) was having his second run for the John Sargent stable and was able to deny runner up Big Money ($7) his second win in the Grafton Carnival’s feature sprint.
The Rodney Northam trained Big Money was successful in winning the 2014 Ramornie Handicap but under his big weight of 59kg was unable to peg back Smart Volatility in the run to the line.
Brisbane sprinter Steel Zip ($10) put in another honest effort to be a close up third for trainer Pat Duff and jockey Brad Stewart.
Winning jockey Tye Angland settled Smart Volatility on the pace after he began well from an outside barrier and the grey showed great fight in the straight to hold off all the challengers.
The well fancied Mogador ($5) was held up for a run in the early stages of the straight and went to the line well when he got clear to wind up in fourth spot while $4.60 favourite Into The Red miss a place after being a good run by Luke Dittman.
Former New Zealand trainer and now foreman for the Sargent stable Gareth McRae said that former Kiwi trainer was able to get Smart Volatility back to top health after he had several problems when racing in Hong Kong.
“Great training effort from John Sargent after all his troubles in Hong Kong,” McRea said.
“He had a lot of breathing problems up there. The owners decided to get back here and wanted to get him up to 110 rating and send him back for the international races.”
Smart Volatility was rated at 100 before today’s Ramornie Handicap win but still has a long way to go hit the 110 mark.
The Danewin seven year old was unplaced at his first run for Sargent when seventh to Mount Nebo over 1200m at Randwick on June 25 and McRae said he took a lot of benefit from that run.
“He has really gone on since his first up effort,” McRae said.
Angland had won on Smart Volatility when he was riding in Hong Kong and was happy to chase the ride for the Ramornie Handicap.