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Smith’s gems

Saturday, 26th October, 2013

After earning a number of top three finishes in previous years, local trainer Heidi Smith will be hoping Little Ruby can take home the opening 1200 metre Maiden Plate today.PICTURE: Ethan James After earning a number of top three finishes in previous years, local trainer Heidi Smith will be hoping Little Ruby can take home the opening 1200 metre Maiden Plate today.PICTURE: Ethan James

By By Ethan James

Heidi Smith is set to continue five generations of family history when she brings her two runners to the Silver City Cup meeting today.

The Smith family is synonymous with racing in Broken Hill, with Heidi’s great-grandfather Thomas Smith inducted into the Wall of Fame yesterday.

Thomas made his name as a bush horseman, while sons Keith and John have both remained heavily involved in the industry.

“How many clubs of any description can proudly say that four generations of one family have been there offering their support?” Silver City Cup President Dave Gallagher said.

“For his efforts as a trainer, breeder, owner and lover of racehorses, Tom certainly deserves his place in the Wall of Fame for his 60 years involvement in the sport.

“And when you consider how Keith, John and Heidi have followed in his footsteps, you can see how important and influential the entire Smith family has been to Broken Hill racing.”

Heidi, from Mona Vale Station, will be entering five-year-old mare Little Ruby in the opening 1200 metre maiden plate.

“It was a lot of hard work with her, she had no barrier education... so I’ve had to do all that to get her into a position to be qualified to race,” she said.

“She hasn’t had the education of a lot of horses in the city.

“She’s been working really well but she has drawn the outside which is a bit of a disadvantage but we’ll see how we go.”

Ms Smith’s other horse, Diamond Range, will start from barrier seven in the last race of the day.

“The jockey who is riding him is actually out pig shooting, so we’re hoping he doesn’t get too carried away and forget to come,” she laughed.

All banter aside, Ms Smith believes the field is shaping to be very competitive.

“I think it’s very strong across all races... even sometimes just to get nominations can be difficult.”

Chief Race Steward Trevor Odgers said the track was in perfect condition for all eight races today.

“Everything looks terrific out there. The track has had quite a bit of water on it and to walk on it, it feels perfect, really,” he said.

Another local link can be found with jockey Martin Harley whose parents spent many years working in Broken Hill.

Although his mother and father won’t be in the stands today, Martin says he is still keen to impress the crowd on his debut ride in the town.

He will be taking the reins of Ziazan in the Silver City Cup after claiming the 2200 metre event the past two years.

In just his third ride on the horse, Martin said the fast track is set to add an extra element to the race.

“It will be a bit of an eye opener for me... it all depends on the horse and whether it can cope with the kick back in the face from the dirt.”

Silver City Cup media coordinator John Casey is hoping for a crowd of more than 2,500.

The day begins at 1.30pm, with the Silver City Cup at 4.20pm before the final race at 5pm.

The weather forecast is for a fine and sunny with a maximum of 26 degrees.

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