Tom Smith Eagle Farm Bound this Weekend

Published 28 July 2022

Tom Smith Eagle Farm Bound this Weekend

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Rockhampton’s Tom Smith, one of Queensland’s youngest horse trainers has embarked on what he hopes may to materialise to a quantum leap in Brisbane on Saturday.

Young Smith has journeyed to Eagle Farm racecourse, the time-honoured hub of Queensland racing since 1865, with his stable stars Better Rain and I Am Clever. Both will be ridden by Les “Bubba” Tilley and coincidentally the pair will each carry a hefty 59kg which is the only commonality they share.

Better Rain (TAB 1) will jump from the rails barrier in the third race, the $125K QTIS 2YO Handicap (1400m) while I Am Clever (Race 2 – TAB 19) starts from around gate 14 in the Class 3 Plate (1600m).

Both Smith runners have taken good form with them to Brisbane where they have arrived after their 630km float trip down the Bruce Highway safe and sound.

“They travelled well and have trained on well since their last starts. I am expecting them both to run well”, Tom said from the metropolis on Thursday morning.

Better Rain has never been out of the prizemoney in eight starts racking up three wins and five seconds for his Callide Valley owners Stewie Nobbs ad John Howard. Bought for $39K as a yearling at the 2021 MM March Yearling Sales, Better Rain has been a grand investment returning $193,550 in earnings.

At Smith’s only other venture south as a trainer Better Rain did him proud when second to She’sgottheboom in The Jewel (1200m) a $500K feature race at the Gold Coast on March 19. At his last start Better Rain lumped 61.5kg when second to talented All That Pizzazz at Callaghan Park, Rockhampton over 1200 metres on July 9.

“He has the right form lines coming into Saturday’s race. He should get the right favours in the race from the rails draw and I would expect he may sit two sets back in the first half of the field. The distance (1400m) looks ideal for him and he has trained on well. I am expecting a big run from him”, Tom said.

Better Rain is opposed to nine rivals (all winners) including the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace trained Recommendation a dual winner from only two starts. While Better Rain’s style of racing is to be handily placed “on the speed” stablemate I Am Clever is completely the opposite.

“He (I Am Clever) gets back in his races anyhow so the wide draw shouldn’t be a disadvantage really. Hopefully, Bubba should be able to slot him in somewhere in the field and ride him quiet. I expect he will be motoring home at the end as well”, Tom said.

I Am Clever won two starts back in Rockhampton over 1300 metres before going under by just a nose when second to Bold Pedro there over 1500 metres on July 9. While untried at the 1600 metres trip, I am Clever has won over 1500 metres and gives the impression the mile should suit.

Arguably the biggest hurdle both stablemates will have to overcome is the 59kg weight factor which has proven a telling task for visiting northerners with few exceptions over the years.

In Central Queensland, racing on Saturday heads out to Middlemount for the annual Cup meeting there before the Saturday circuit takes racing to Keppel Park, Yeppoon on Saturday week.

Tony McMahon

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