Alison Smith's stables are deep with plenty of talented horses but you could make the case that a certain four-year-old gelding is in the best touch of them all right now.
Vaquero has looked nothing short of rock solid since coming back from a four-week break that started at the end of February and on Tuesday, will look to make it two wins in four starts at Hawkesbury Race Club.
He's been priced at $14.60 from barrier 11 to take out the $31,500 Kurmond Social Class 2 Handicap (1800m) and while the field's going to be tough to overcome, you wouldn't rule him out.
The question marks won't come over the 1800 metres, as Smith's already mentioned Vaquero's bred to go a 'mile and-a-half', rather the struggles might come on the soft six as he's done the vast majority of his running on good surfaces.
He's bred to go a mile and-a-halfAlison Smith
While his work on a heavy eight at Wellington was fine (finishing fourth in an eight-horse race) the away trip combined with the new surface could trouble the gelding.
Richard and Michael Freedman's Elaborate is atop the odds sheet with a starting price of $4.80, while Gerald Ryan's Fast Train $5.50 will look to secure its first win this prep.
Bjorn Baker's Moon Panthers $6 is also in the mix and rides a three-race place streak since coming back from a layoff and should welcome the heavier track as the gelding's done well on wet tracks in the past.
Race six gets underway at 3.15pm.
Smith's results at Dubbo
Four of Smith's horses visited the Dubbo Turf Club on Sunday but none of them were able to earn a top-three finish on a day that consisted of mostly sprints.
A shining light for Smith was Who's Tinny who ran fourth in the $20,000 Dubbo RSL Club Resort 3 YO & Up Maiden Handicap (1000m) in just the second race of the filly's career after running last in a trial at Bathurst at the end of last year.
She was ridden by Andrew Banks.
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