Smith praises barrier attendants
28 Jun 2012 | Mick Smith has heaped praise on the barrier attendants who saved his mare Money Never Sleeps from a potentially catastrophic situation at Canterbury on Wednesday.
The heavily backed five-year-old was declared a non-starter in the Benchmark 70 Handicap (1550m) after Bill Dale prematurely pushed his starter’s button to open the gates while jockey Nathan Berry was still not seated in the saddle.
The barrier attendants restrained Money Never Sleeps before she could take off with the rest of the field, and both horse and jockey escaped unscathed.
“The barrier attendant who had a hold of the horse’s bridle did a stupendous job,” Queanbeyan trainer Smith said.
“Imagine what it requires to hold a horse when the gates have opened and everyone else has run. He could’ve easily lost a hold of her.
“To say she’s not the sharpest tool in the shed is to overestimate her intelligence - last start when she started to muck up in the gates the bridle came off.
“Imagine if that combination of events had have happened yesterday. Anything could’ve happened and probably would have.
“I really would love to thank that guy. Next time I see him I’ll take him a bottle of wine.
“For all that went wrong I’ve got a horse to take to the races next week, and we come home safe.”
Smith isn’t sure yet what his next move will be with his ultra-consistent daughter of Delago Brom.
Yesterday’s run in Sydney was supposed to culminate in the mare’s first city win – she was only beaten a length in similar last time in and Smith was confident she just had to jump cleanly to salute.
But the man leading Queanbeyan’s training premiership standings admits her opportunity may have passed her by.
“Our whole dream this whole campaign has been winning a race in town with her,” Smith said.
“The great thing about yesterday’s race was that we were really weighted to win. We had the 2kg mares’ allowance in an open class race and we had the 2kg allowance for being a country horse going to town and that meant we were [carrying] 54 and a half [kilograms] even though we were second-highest rated.
“There is a Benchmark 80 1500m fillies and mares race at Rosehill on Saturday week and that would look to be the best kind of city race.
“In a Benchmark 80 race we’re not going to get those advantages, we’ll be on the limit anyway.”
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