Keeping Pace: Smolda's has run his last race but collected $2.5 million along the way

TOP EFFORT: For The Bettor after winning at Tamworth last week with trainer-driver Michael Formosa.
TOP EFFORT: For The Bettor after winning at Tamworth last week with trainer-driver Michael Formosa.

Inter Dominion champ Smolda has been retired after scans revealed a damaged tendon. The eight year-old gelding has had 32 wins – including nine Group 1 wins - and earned $2.5 million in prize money.

Singleton’s Marcus Kirkwood bought a third of Smolda in ownership after his son, Tom, 17, lost his battle with cancer in 2009, with Smolda then becoming an equine ambassador for the Children’s Cancer Institute Australia. When driving Smolda, trainer Mark Purdon wore the CCIA logo on his silks and the words “Our Mate Tom” on his sleeve. 

“He was a good story Smolda, with all different parts,” Kirkwood said. “The role as ambassador of the Children’s Cancer Institute, and he was a horse who managed to overcome adversity himself.”

Trainer Mark Purdon said Smolda was likely to come to live with the Kirkwoods. Marcus said that was undecided but Smolda “was sure to have a nice retirement”.

“He’s a once-in-a-lifetime horse. It’s just been a great experience,” he said. “It’s a bit sad that journey’s over, but you can’t complain at all. “It has been a marvellous ride, meeting new people and visiting new places.”

MICHAEL Formosa has announced For The Bettor is “on the market” after taking out the Pace at Tamworth over 1980 metres with a MR of 2.02.9. Come Monday, the Bettors Delight-So Meticulous three-year-old gelding, was once again in the winner’s circle – this time at Newcastle – taking out the Pace at Newcastle. For The Bettor raced 1609m with a MR of 1.57.7 and paid $10.20 for the win.

NEWCASTLE races on Saturday night with the Glenn Tomlin Memorial one of the feature races. Glenn was killed 20 years ago in a track work accident at age 22. Since then, the Hunter Valley harness racing community has remembered Glenn at an annual night featuring the Glenn Tomlin Memorial for Hunter Valley drivers and trainers. The $8000 final also has a gig on offer to the winning trainer. 

ON SATURDAY NIGHT, Albion Park will host their QBred Triads for 2yo colts and geldings followed by the 2yo fillies. Both these races are worth $100,450 each, while the 2017 Ubet Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship (Gr 1) race will offer $200,540 in prize money. To be raced over 2680 metres, the Group 1 feature has attracted quality horses, including Lennytheshark and My Field Marshall.

HARNESS racing will return to Paceway Tamworth – next Thursday (July 20) – a day meeting. If you would like to place something in Keeping Pace, phone 0439 818 261.