While the vast majority of kiwi raiders have been and gone during the 2011 Brisbane winter carnival, there’s one horse which will start out his Aussie camapign this weekend.
Smoking Chimneys is entered in the Tattersall’s Cup and comes into the race off a last start win.
The gelding is now seven-years-old and has never been across the ditch himself and trainer David Haworth has never raced in Brisbane either.
While the horse is getting on in years there are plenty with more racing experience, he’s had just the 30 starts so far in his career.
He spent a full year and a half on the sidelines after running third in 2009 New Zealand Cup and only now is he starting to get back to his best.
“He was badly injured and was out for a while,” Haworth said.
He’s had only the four runs since making his comeback resulting in a last start victory over 2200m on a heavy track at Foxton.
“I thought if he could win the Foxton Cup last start we’d give him a go over here,” Haworth said.
“It was his fourth run back after the New Zealand Cup and he was three wide and won really well.”
It’s been a hard slog to get him back to the racetrack after a hard Riccarton track knocked him up badly in the New Zealnd Cup.
“The track was hard that day and he jarred his knee but we couldn’t find anything wrong,” Haworth said.
“Then he was getting ready for the spring when he damaged a stifle and fractured a bone high up.”
It won’t just be the Tattersall’s Cup that’s on the agenda for Smoking Chimneys, he’ll have another run at Eagle Farm split by a Sunshine Coast assualt as well.
“I’ve never had a runner here but I’ve taken horses to Sydney and Melbourne,” Haworth said.
“His main mission here is the Queensland Cup but if he runs well on Saturday he’ll go to the Caloundra Cup next week.”
Smoking Chimneys has six wins and seven placings from his 30 starts but his proven ability to see out the 3200m will put him in a good spot over the next three weeks.
Also helping his cause is the ride of star kiwi jockey James McDonald.
McDonald returns to Brisbane again on Saturday to pick up a book of four rides including two at Listed level, one Group 3 and the main event Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara.
He does so at the expense of cracking the 200 win barrier back at home in New Zealand.
McDonald cracked the previous record of 197 by Lisa Cropp some time ago but is now stuck on 199.
He blew a prime opportunity at Rukaka on Wednesday but still has plenty of time remaining.
McDonald has been a sensation in Brisbane, most notably through his Group 1 winning partnership with star New Zealand filly Scarlett Lady.