Coupe rolls to another Smart win at Flemington
Dec 15, 2018
Melbourne’s rain worried trainers Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra but Smart Coupe handled the soft track with aplomb when breaking through for a Flemington victory.
Smart Coupe had raced below her best at her last two runs in soft ground and a storm threatened to push the Flemington track further into the soft range before the Wingate Avenue Community Centre Trophy.
Zahra said the stable was prepared to scratch Smart Coupe if the track deteriorated but the sun broke through the thick clouds at Flemington in time for the $100,000 race.
Smart Coupe had no trouble with the soft (5) surface when fighting off the late challengers to score a determined win under the riding of jockey Damien Thornton.
"We were worried about the soft track," Zahra said.
"But because there was six or seven hours of drying time and then if the storm did come, we could scratch and if it didn't, we thought we'd be right.
"We walked it Thursday and again this morning and were really happy with how it was."
Smart Coupe started at big odds, but the Smart Missile mare had been placed at Group 3 level at her only previous run down the Flemington straight course.
"She was the only stakes-placed horse up the straight as a three-year-old and I didn't think she was entitled to be those odds," Zahra said.
“Her form had been mixed on wet tracks but when she got on a firm track at Kyneton, she was dominant.”
Zahra said Smart Coupe had earned a short break with her Flemington success.
"She's been up a while, so we might send her up the farm for a freshen up, and then find something next month and through the autumn at a better level,” Zahra said.
Smart Coupe’s terrific win was her fourth in 14 starts while the $55,000 winner’s cheque took her stakes tally to more than $185,000.
Congratulations to the team at First Light Racing and Smart Coupe’s huge band of owners on their latest win.