Cimarron proving bargain buy for Smith
Purchased out of a Forbury claimer back in June for just $1500, Cimarron has proven a great buy for popular junior driver Craig Smith. At Sunday's Rangiora meet the horse was a convincing winner over the 1950m, recording his second win in just the six starts for Smith.
It was while looking after some stable runners down in Dunedin over the winter, that Smith threw in a claim for Cimarron.
"I thought it looked like a handy enough horse and was really looking for something to get a regular drive from," said Smith.
However, once the horse headed north to the Woodend base, it soon showed a lot more ability than its $1500 price tag suggested. But then a setback saw the horse assigned to a box for a short time.
"We found out that he had broken a bone in his foot and so he needed to be boxed for about six weeks."
Cimarron was then worked up slowly and made its comeback to racing at the Methven meeting in October. An unplaced run there was followed up by a convincing win at Kaikoura a fortnight later.
"He went really good that day and it was pretty cool winning at Kaikoura. Then he went another super race a week or so later at Ashburton."
It was a last start 6th in strong company at Addington, that gave Smith some real confidence heading into his Rangiora assignment.
"He'd been working so well and I thought he wouldn't be far away as long as we were able to overcome the draw."
Well back early on, Smith sent Cimarron forward from the 800m, levelling up to the pacemaking Gerald on the turn, before dashing away, to win by a convincing one and a quarter lengths.
"Its certainly the best $1500 that I've spent in my life," said Smith after the race.
"I'm not really sure where he will go next, but we will probably look out for a boys race for him."
Sunday's win was the third in 8 days for Smith, taking his season total to five wins from 24 starts and he doesn't look like he is done yet.
"I just want to keep learning," said Smith.
"Providing I keep improving my driving, then there will probably be more wins. For now though it is just a case of focusing on those little areas that I can keep improving on."
Later in the day it was a second win for the stable for the day as Bevan's Cullen proved way too tough for the C2 and C3 pacers over the 2600m stand.
A good second at his previous start at Motukarara, Woodend trainer John Dunn felt that the horse had really turned a corner recently.
"He was quite a nervy type of horse but seems to have really settled down over the last few weeks. He showed a lot of fight in that second the previous week."
Starting from the unruly, Bevan's Cullen made an absolute flyer and was in front within 500m.
"Once we got the front so easily I thought that he would take a power of running down," said John.
"I was able to get a pretty good run down the backstraight and that meant we had a fair bit of petrol left in the tank turning for home."
"There was nothing that was going to come off his back when you are running home in 27.2."
"It was good for Dobby (owner Ian Dobson) too, as he was on track for the race."
John wasn't sure of the immediate goals for Bevan's Cullen but did feel that he is showing enough right now to be competitive in the various Country Cups races that are coming up.
Earlier in the programme, Returntorocknroll recorded a very nice first up second after leading.
"She went great. It was probably just the 2600m that got to her in the earlier stages of this preparation. She should get one soon enough this time in."
Returntorocknroll now heads to the first day at Westport on Monday. She should be worth a bet in Race One that day.
Another stable runner to follow out of Rangiora was debutante Kotare Mist.
"She went really well. Once Dexter handed up, putting us three back, it was always going to make things hard, but she found the line really good. She is another one that should get an early win."
Posted: Tue 20 Dec 2016