SMART CHASES A HAT-TRICK WITH SIN­GLE

The Sportsman Weekend - - News - CRAIG BRENNAN

SIN­GLE Handed will chase a win­ning hat-trick when he lines up for his Mel­bourne city de­but at Flem­ing­ton.

The Nick Smart-trained gal­loper steps up to 2000m in the bench­mark 78 Summer On The Lawn Hand­i­cap to­mor­row fol­low­ing vic­to­ries at Terang and Mor­phettville.

Sin­gle Handed has won three of his past four starts hav­ing been suc­cess­ful at Echuca in Oc­to­ber.

“We went to Ade­laide and didn’t quite get the ride we were look­ing for so he could quite eas­ily be four from four this prep,” Smart said.

“It’s cer­tainly his biggest test to step up from Satur­day grade in Ade­laide to see if he can do it over here at Flem­ing­ton.”

Sin­gle Handed has played his part in turn­ing Smart’s for­tunes around af­ter a lean win­ter.

Smart has been based at Bal­larat for around 18 months, send­ing out a num­ber of win­ners, but af­ter War­rnam­bool’s May car­ni­val things went quiet.

“We were get­ting a bit frus­trated through the win­ter,” Smart said.

“I had long­est run of outs by a long way since I’ve been train­ing but over the last month or so we’ve been able to turn it around.

“We’ve had four or five win­ners and this guy has played a big part in it.”

Smart would like sim­i­lar con­di­tions to those at Flem­ing­ton last Satur­day where rain lead­ing up to the meeting had a con­di­tion­ing ef­fect.

Sin­gle Handed has dis­played a lik­ing for soft con­di­tions.

“We had that nice rain over the week­end but it doesn’t mean much at Flem­ing­ton,” Smart said.

“We need it closer to the day be­cause it drains so well.

“I’ve had run­ners jar up at Flem­ing­ton when it gets re­ally firm so I just hope that’s not go­ing to be the case this week­end.

“He’s look­ing for the 2000m and all the signs he’s show­ing us is the fur­ther he goes the bet­ter he’s go­ing to be.

“This will prob­a­bly be his last run of the cam­paign as he’s not quite a fur­nished horse, been back­wards all the way through.

“There might even be a nice race in Ade­laide over the car­ni­val next time around.”

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