Queensland trainer Brian Smith enjoys making the trip down the east coast to tackle the New South Wales country cup circuit and today it’s the Wyong Cup.
It’s a race he’s actually won before, although to say it’s been a long time between drinks is an understatement.
The horse that did the job for him was Ecliptic but you’d have to be a hardcore fan to remember him, it was way back in 1991.
That’s not saying he’s had a bad record since then though, in fact he’s had no record at all.
“I haven’t been back to Wyong since I won it with Ecliptic,” Smith said.
Now a full two decades later Smith is gunning for a Wyong Cup double and he has a double chance of bringing home the silverware.
Both Hume and Raeburn will represent his stable, two very different horses but both are rated as solid chances.
Hume has been running consistently around the money for the last month or but hasn’t won a race since the Tattersall’s Cup back in 2009.
That being said he was solid in his fifth placing in the Premier’s Cup last start and Smith says he was unlucky not to be even closer.
“He got locked away on the fence the other day and didn’t get out, ” he said.
“He’s thrilled me (since then) and he’s jumping out of his skin, I thought I’ve got to step him up in distance so i had to get him in this race.”
Although Hume is now eight years old, Smith says he races and acts like a horse years his junior.
“He’s really on his toes and he’s a lovely athletic horse for his age, he’s amazing,” he said.
The gelding is also only just back to full fitness after a long road to recovering following a tendon injury.
“It’s been a slow comeback when you do a tendon, because he’s older it takes a lot more time getting fit but I’m happy with the horse today,” he said.
As for Raeburn, he was freshened up for a month after running third in the Queensland Cup and came back with a solid second placed finish at Eagle Farm two and a half weeks back.
“I feel as though he raced a lot over the (Brisbane winter) carnival, three weekends in a row and ran consistent,” Smith said.
“He raced well the other day, I would have liked to see a real wet track for him but Rick McMahon rides him well and he’ll be coming into the race at the right time.”
If Smith is to score a quinella in the race they’ll have to come from very different paths with Hume likely to work forward early while Raeburn will be switched off at the back.