Coupe too Smart again at Kyneton

Nov 07, 2018

Ellerton Zahra Racing and First Light Racing teamed up for a second winner in four days when talented mare Smart Coupe scored at Kyneton.

Aristia carried the navy and gold silks of First Light Racing to victory in the Group 2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Saturday, leaving her primed for a crack at the Group 1 VRC Oaks (2500m) on Thursday.

Smart Coupe hadn’t enjoyed the best of luck at her previous two runs at Caulfield and at Moe, but more conservative tactics helped her prevail in the $50,000 Prendergast Earthmoving Handicap (1200m).

Jockey Damien Thornton decided to ease Smart Coupe early to settle midfield before allowing her to improve steadily rounding the home turn.

Smart Coupe’s conservative early run left plenty in reserve for her dash home. Smart Coupe overpowered her opposition in the straight to record a comfortable 1 ¼-length win.

Co-trainer Simon Zahra said the fact Smart Coupe raced out of her class at Kyneton added merit to her win.

“She’s not easy to place,” Zahra, who trains Smart Coupe in partnership with Mathew Ellerton, said. “She was a 71-rater in a benchmark 84 race today.

“If you put her in a benchmark 70 race, she has to carry 61.5kg.”

“But she has always had the ability.

“Today he (Thornton) rode her a bit quieter, she could have led if he wanted, but he rode her in behind them and got cover.

“He came out at the right time and that’s the perfect way to ride her.

“Back on a firmer track probably helped her as well.”

Smart Coupe’s Kyneton victory was her third in 12 starts while the $27,000 winner’s cheque took her stakes tally to more than $130,000.

Congratulations to Smart Coupe’s huge band of owners and all involved with getting the four-year-old to the races in perfect condition.