While he is not the most consistent kid on the block, the Stuart Pettigrew-trained Walter Smoothie is a dour stayer. He was in a galloping mood on Saturday as he outgunned his nine rivals to win the R250 000 Listed Racing Association Handicap over the Gold Cup trip of 3200m.
The son of Biarritz overcame the stress of a false start – he went the furthest of all the runners – and with replacement rider Diego De Gouveia riding a nicely judged race tracking the pacemaking Tirzan all the way round, he stayed on strongly despite a late challenge from favourite Ali Bon Dubai to register his first stakes success.
Starting at 18-1, Walter Smoothie beat Ali Bon Dubai by 1,20 lengths in a time of 209,41 secs with long-time leader Tirzan a further 4,20 lengths back in third.
Bred by the Rous Bros, Walter Smoothie is a son of Biarritz (Count Dubois) out of the Strike Smartly mare, Wild Strike.
A winner of 5 races with 7 places from 16 starts, Walter Smoothie has won R464 075 in stakes.
The key to Walter Smoothie, like most horses, looks to be the way he is ridden.
He produces his best when ridden handily.