Patience the key with Smart Moove in championship qualifier

Gulgong trainer Brett Thompson doesn’t let things like barrier draws dull his confidence in his horses, so he heads to Sunday’s $150,000 Country Championships Qualifier (1400m) at Mudgee believing his talented mare Smart Moove is a winning chance.

The four-year-old will jump from barrier 13 in the 14-horse field and that means conceding a start, but Thompson said if the race is run to suit then she is a lot better chance than her price would suggest.

Trainer Brett Thompson believes Mudgee will suit his mare Smart Moove.Credit:Jenny Evans

Smart Moove has had two lead-up runs, including a third at Bathurst behind Speed Camera and Tale Of The Kraut, both of which will contest the qualifier, before an eye-catching seventh at Canterbury nine days ago.

"The race at Canterbury the other day we knew was too short for her, but we wanted to see her hitting the line like she did,’’ Thompson said.

“She pulled a front shoe in the run at Canterbury and was dipping. Once she balanced up, she hit the line strongly.’’

That was an 1100m benchmark 70  and she ran the fastest last 600m (35.30 Punter’s Intelligence) on a night when it was difficult to make ground from the back .

At her last attempt at 1400m  at Dubbo in November  with Ashley Morgan in the saddle, she ran out an easy winner after drifting back from a wide alley, which is what she will likely be doing at Mudgee.

Thompson knows plenty about Mudgee, having trained there for a period, but has spent the bulk of his training career at nearby Gulgong.

“She's funny, sometimes she jumps right on the bunny and sometimes, like the other night, she's happy to just relax and go out the back,’’ he said of Smart Moove.

“Luckily, Mudgee is a 400m straight and we have a chance.

“We have to be patient, not go before the corner like a lot of jockeys do at Mudgee. You've got to realise you're on a fair horse and are a chance of picking them up."

Mudgee trainer Gayna Williams, who has trained the second placegetter in the past three central districts heats, has three runners in the qualifier but that could drop to two – Healing Hands and Beeokay – if topweight and early favourite El Mo hasn’t recovered from a foot abscess in time to take his place.

Best bets

Race 3: (18) The Poet

Race 4: (4) Risk And Reward

Best value

Race 7: (12) Smart Moove

Supplied by Racing NSW

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