There was a time when Devlann looked like he may never get back on the race track but Dean Smith’s persistence is paying off.
Devlann started his career in promising fashion.
Following a trial win, the Inverell-trained gelding finished second on January 1, 2015 in his first start and broke his maiden in race number two 30 days later.
However, injury struck Devlann and he wouldn’t race again until April this year.
It then took the chestnut gelding seven races to score another placing and 13 to extend his winning tally.
“When he came back as a five-year-old, he wasn't seasoned enough. He needed a couple preps and it’s just come together,” Smith said.
“This horse didn't look like he was going to come back but in his last three starts, he’s turned a corner.”
Devlann now has two wins on the trot following a victory at Inverell before taking out the Don’t Let The Turkeys Get You Down’ Class 2 Handicap (1600m) at Tamworth on Monday.
Craig Franklin steered Devlann to victory at the Tamworth track which Smith had huge raps on, saying the club had done a great job on it. Smith wasn’t too sure where Devlann would race next but knew which hoop he’d like on board.
“I’ll just play it by ear. Craig Franklin has had three wins on him and they get on really well,” Smith said.
Smith – who works for Group 1 Feeds – considers himself more of a hobby trainer nowadays but at one time he’d train anywhere between 20-30 winners a year.
Despite the smaller stable, Smith said he’d likely have a horse go round at the Inverell Cup on New Year’s Day.