Sundowners success as Smart steals Cooma Cup

Todd Smart (right) and Damon Budler (second right) are all smiles with the Cooma Cup committee and sponsors after their success in the 1600m feature race.

Former Gundagai trainer Todd Smart has made Saturday’s trip from Canberra to Cooma worthwhile, leaving with two winners from his two only runners at the popular Sundowners meeting.

Smart won the 1600m Cooma Cup with the top-weight Great Glen after apprentice hoop Damon Budler steered the eight-year-old to victory.

The High Chaparral galloper, formerly trained in Sydney and Melbourne, was a class above his opposition in the $15,000 event, winning by 4.53 lengths.

“He was really well weighted and was a mile better than those,” Smart said.

“He realistically should’ve been 67kg.”

The Canberra trainer explained how Great Glenn ended up in the stable and why they went to Cooma for an easy kill.

“He was a decent horse with Chris (Waller) and then he went to Henry Dwyer but just wasn’t up to that city class,” he said.

“He will be a good country cup horse and he proved that on Saturday, we just needed to get that first win with him.”

Connections are now eyeing two local feature races after their success up in the mountains.

“I think we will go to the Ted Ryder Cup in Wagga, we have won the race before with Art Thou Ready, and I think the 1600m race will suit him,” he said.

“We might also consider the Tumut Mile, his perfect distance is between 1800m and 2000m, but while keeping him fresh, he can run well over the mile.”

In order for Great Glenn to contest either of these races, Smart will have to take it easy on the former English galloper.

“Considering how firm it was on the weekend, we will give him a really light week,” he said.

“After that, we won’t push him too hard.”

Winning the Cooma Cup wasn’t Smart’s only success on Saturday, with popular maiden, All About Me winning the first on the card, the 1000m Maiden Plate.

The Dreamscape mare, ridden by the in-form Aaron Sweeney, started the short quote of $1.65 and ran accordingly, greeting the judge 3.4 lengths ahead of her nearest rivals.

“She was an absolute moral,” he said.

“After her Gundagai efforts, we thought we would just go up the road and trot around for $5,500.”

Smart believes his five-year-old has the potential to go on to bigger and better things.”

“She will be a TAB Highway horse or better,” he said.

“She has just taken her time and she is putting it all together now.”

The popular trainer will hope success follows on from his Cooma Cup triumphs, travelling to Wagga today and Queanbeyan on Thursday.

Smart will team up with Sweeney at Wagga again today when Honeysuckle Choice contests the third on the card, the 1000m Class Three event.

While the form stable also has Washington Towers, Honeysuckle Choice, Tobermory and All About Me nominated for Queanbeyan on Thursday.