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By Graham Potter | Saturday, August 28, 2021

The David Vandyke trained Weona Smartone came into a Colts, Geldings and Entires Class 6 Handicap at Doomben on August 28 with a near perfect record of five wins from his six career starts.

His unbeaten record stretched back to September 11, 2020, meaning it was pushing a year since he last tasted defeat. That weight of good form was roundly respected on the betting boards where the five-year-old son of Shamexpress stated at the prohibitive odds of $1.55 with the $7 chance Dreamreacher being the only other runner quoted at less than $14 in the market.

There are never any guarantees in racing though, particularly when a horse is first-up after close to a three month break, and this was to be no cakewalk for Weona Smartone.

Basically, he had to it at both ends in a really tough run. Ryan Maloney, who had partnered Weona Smartone in four of his five previous victories, jumped Weona Smartone in the leading line and gradually worked his way across from a wide draw to land in second spot after the field had covered 200m.

The $14 chance Hidden Hail, who had similarly crossed from the worst of the draw, was the horse who had taken up the running and, as he was setting a strong tempo, Maloney was happy to tuck in behind the leader until shortly after straightening in the home straight when Maloney asked for more from Weona Smartone.

Hidden Hail kept kicking but Weona Smartone had his measure coming through the 200m mark, but there would be no let-up of the pressure on Weona Smartone as he had a line of runners racing close behind him, threatening to derail his effort.

The bottom line is … as strong as Weona Smartone was throughout the running up until this stage, so too did he have to show real commitment all of the way to the line to hold his challengers at bay in the closing stages … and he did that with some aplomb, particularly considering he was short of match-practice.

The fact that the runners placed second to fifth all finished within a length of Weona Smartone underlined the pressure Weona Smartone was under and showed that there was absolutely no room for error on his part.

That’s six-in-a-row now for Weona Smartone.

Not every horse lives up to the name the owners give it.

Weona Smartone … well, you can’t argue with that!

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Photos: Graham Potter
Photos: Graham Potter
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