Todd Smart enjoys sensational start to the season

Todd Smart’s stable has been on fire of late.

Is there any stopping Todd Smart, who has kicked off the 2021/22 racing season where he left off last year, winning races everywhere.

The Canberra trainer is in career-best form having already trained five winners less than a month into the new season. 

Smart’s strong start hasn’t arrived because of a weight of numbers either and it isn’t down to any one horse, with the stable only starting 13 runners to date, with five different gallopers greeting the judge first in races all over the Southern Districts and South East.

The stable’s golden run kicked off with multiple placings at Forbes and Gundagai earlier this month, before Honeysuckle Choice won at Moruya on August 3. 

Smart than trained a winner on his home track with Eurosay winning at Canberra on August 6 before he trained a double at Albury on August 17 with Kelvedon Road and Tobermory both winning their races.

Most recently, Loose Love broke through for her maiden victory at Queanbeyan on Tuesday and Smart believed it all came down to having the right systems in place.

“It sort of comes down to having everything working well,” Smart said. 

“We have bought a couple of horses each year for the last four years and that system is starting to come through for us.

“When you have everything going well behind the scenes and the right systems are in place, you get good results and that’s what we are seeing right now.”

Smart said it was a huge team effort, explaining that he had the right owners, jockeys and support network making everything possible. 

“I have a good mate of mine in Ben McAlister and when I first moved to Canberra, he said ‘let’s buy some horses’, and we have every year and it is working out well for us,” Smart said. 

“He helps me run my business and that sort of thing, plus we have some good riders – Damon Budler rides a lot of my fast work, and he is a good judge.”

The 38-year-old wasn’t forgetting where he came from either and he firmly believed that his recent run of form was just as important to those who had helped get him to where he is today.

“It just means a hell of a lot. It is repaying those guys behind the scenes who have helped me get to where I am; Ben, my mum and dad and those guys that have been here from day one,” he said. 

Smart has now been based in Canberra for five years, after journeying from his home in Gundagai to Victoria, then back to Wagga before finally settling roots in the nation’s capital.

“It got to a stage where I wanted to set up a base, and I thought it was time to go to Canberra; it was closer to Sydney for the (TAB) Highways and they have very good facilities,” Smart said. 

The Canberra trainer has 13 in work, but a recent move to a bigger stable complex could see Smart expand on those numbers, and the hard-working trainer was ready for the challenge.

“I work every day, I don’t think I’ve had a day off in eight weeks and I thrive on racing – if I don’t have any racing, I’m watching them at home,” Smart laughed. 

“That is how much I love racing and I want to succeed in what I do and right now, the stable is going good.”

Things could only get better for Smart and his team with talented sprinter and The Kosciuszko hopeful, Washington Towers, nearing a return to racing. 

“It’s exciting; Washington Towers jumped out this morning (Wednesday); Damon thinks he is right on track if he gets a slot in The Kosciusko,” Smart said. 

“He will either go to Sydney first up or to a 1000m TAB federal here at Canberra next meeting, we will work that out soon.”

For the time being, Smart will prepare Mr Maharaj for 1000m Class One Handicap at Wagga tomorrow and Kelvedon Road for the 1400m Class Two TAB Highway Handicap at Kembla Grange on Saturday.