Second time success at Cup
THOUSANDS flocked to the Birdsville races at the weekend to catch all the action on the track.
Among them was Roma trainer Craig Smith who made the 11,000km trek to the middle of the outback with hopes of taking out the coveted Birdsville Cup.
Success was his, when his horse Fast Fella, ridden by Rockhampton jockey Adrian Coombe, was the first past the post to take out the win.
This was the second time Mr Smith has celebrated a win at the iconic races.
“It’s pretty hard to win one and it’s definitely pleasing to win two,” he said.
“This was our 13th or 14th trip now so we are sort of veterans of the races and it’s been five years since the last win.”
Going in to the race, Mr Smith was confident with his choice of the five-year-old gelding, owned by Brisbanite Noel Fuller.
“I thought his form was good enough and he had just run second at St George and second in Roma,” he said.
“He was in the top three or four favourites on the day.”
Mr Smith said the Birdsville races can be tricky to master.
“They race the opposite way and there is only three tracks in Queensland that do that,” he said.
“And then you just have all the hazards from racing out in the desert.”
Born and bred in Wallumbilla, Mr Smith has been a trainer for 28 years.
“My mum and dad have always been in to race horses and I just followed on from there,” he said.
“I’ve trained close to a 1000 winners over my time and it’s always such a high when I get a win.”
Mr Smith plans to rest Fast Fella and hopefully race him in the biggest race in the south-west, the Roma Cup, on November 18.
❝ It’s pretty hard to win one and it’s definitely pleasing to win two.
— Craig Smith
SECOND TIME LUCKY: Roma trainer Craig Smith took out the win at the Birdsville Cup for the second time in his career with horse Fast Fella.