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Mystery ailment for Great Things Happen


Something is wrong with star trotter Great Things Happen, but his trainer Gavin Smith is stumped as to what exactly it is.

Last month’s Group 1 New Zealand Trotting Free For All winner has disappointed in two subsequent starts – in the Dominion Handicap three days later, and in Sunday’s Trotters’ Green Mile at Methven.

He ran third in the latter, but Smith says the performance was well below his best and he has abandoned plans for an Auckland trip.

“He’s going out for a while.

“I’m not happy with him since the Dominion; he hasn’t recovered properly in his races.

“I was walking around the stables at Methven yesterday a while after the race and (first two home) Everybody Knows and Harriet Of Mot had recovered but he was heaving like he had just had a run.”

Tests, tests and more tests have failed to turn up anything.

“We’ve tested everything and don’t know what’s wrong with him.

“His bloods are perfect, he scoped 100 percent and the hair test was fine.

“Everything we’ve done has been spot on so it’s a real mystery.”

While there are four feature trot races at Auckland and Cambridge in the next six weeks, Smith says he would rather have the horse right for an A$300,000 feature across the ditch at the end of January.

“At this stage we will just have a couple of weeks off and I’ll bring him back in to prepare for the Great Southern Star.

“But if I’m not happy with him, he will stay out for longer.

“It’s disappointing, but I’d rather be ready for the Southern Star and Rowe Cup than push on now and not have him at his best.”

Smith won’t be sending promising three-year-old filly Shebang north either, even though she qualified for New Year’s Eve’s $150,000 Sires Stakes Fillies Final at Addington last Friday night when finishing third behind Dizzy Miss Lizzy.

“I think she’s just a fraction under the best ones yet, so we will go for some easy kills with her.

“She’s going to Invercargill for a maiden this Friday and will then go for the nugget final at the end of the month.

“Hopefully after a break she can go down for the final nugget final, or whatever it is being called, and the Southland Oaks.”


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