Smith plays hand in double

Borninasandpit (Aaron Kuru) winning at Te Aroha for Cambridge trainers Nick Smith and Graham Thomas.

Borninasandpit (Aaron Kuru) winning at Te Aroha for Cambridge trainers Nick Smith and Graham Thomas.

Cambridge trainer Nick Smith can take some credit for the last two winners on the Te Aroha programme last Sunday.

Smith and his senior training partner, Graham Thomas, landed the last event on the card, the Don Paterson Farewell 1600, with Borninasandpit, while a race earlier he played a part in the win of the Stephen Marsh-trained Kingsgrave in the Maramarua & Waikato Hunt 1600.

As well as holding a trainer’s license, Smith also rides trackwork for other Cambridge trainers, including Marsh, and one of his mounts in work has been Kingsgrave, a three-year-old son of Postponed.

It was Smith who gave the Marsh camp, including rider Troy Harris, confident in Kingsgrave’s prospects of breaking through for his first win after a fifth and a seventh in his first two starts.

“Nick Smith has been riding him (in work) for us and he said he will handle the track,” said Harris. “He was right.”

Harris admits Kingsgrave’s previous form wasn’t encouraging, but he wasn’t surprised to see him shape up like he did last Sunday.

“His form was probably read worse than it is,” said Harris. “In his last start at Avondale he got pulling a bit hard. He was stuck out on the speed so I was hoping we could get a sit today.”

Harris settled Kingsgrave back in the field and improved him to challenge on the home turn. From then on the pair had control and won by two and a half lengths.

In contrast, Borninasandpit never looked like a winner until the final stages. She was flat going nowhere coming to the home turn and it wasn’t until rider, Aaron Kuru, got her to the outside that she got balanced and was able to emerge as a serious threat.

She went on to win by a length and a quarter to take her record to two wins and two placings from eight starts. Her previous win had also been at Te Aroha, last September.