Friday, 10 August 2012
Darren Smith's week didn't start out well but he's hoping it ends on a much brighter note when Welkom Gold takes aim in the Group Three Missile Stakes.
A stable incident early on Monday morning left the trainer with a fractured collarbone and ribs after he was trampled by a young horse.
Smith says he's "a bit wounded but pretty good" although he is unlikely to be trackside at Warwick Farm when Welkom Gold backs up in Saturday's weight-for-age 1200m feature.
"I was leading a young horse out onto the track and being a Monday morning it was a bit fresh and the horse just got spooked and jumped over me," Smith said.
"I'm fine though. I hurt my ribs and collarbone and it jumped on my foot."
Welkom Gold, himself no stranger to injury, is chasing his first win since October 2010 and Smith believes it is the right time to tackle the Missile Stakes.
The eight-year-old gelding kicked away in the straight last weekend over 1250m at Canterbury only to be run down by the highly-rated Said Com.
"He probably went a bit too quick last week early in the race," Smith said.
"But he ran very well and it took a good horse to beat him.
"The reason why we are backing up this week is that we might be meeting these horses three-quarters ready where as our horse is rock-hard fit.
"It gives him a chance because our horse won't get any fitter but a lot of the others are resuming."
Group Two weight-for-age winner Pinwheel holds down favouritism at $2.40 ahead of the Joe Pride-trained Title at $3.80.
Centennial Park, who boasts a sound first-up record, is on the third line at $6.50 just ahead of Welkom Gold at $7.
Rather than worry about his own misfortune earlier this week, Smith says Missile Stakes success would more be a reward for Welkom Gold after the injury issues the sprinter has come back from.
"He's come back after having a lot of time off, 18 months he was out for," Smith said.
"If he can run a good race tomorrow I'll probably give him a month's rest and then bring him back for some off-season sprints."
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