A new year will dawn a new era for Lindsey Smith as he plans to shut down his Olbury stables in WA.
Smith left Perth several years ago to set up a satellite stable in Melbourne and will continue that operation at his Warrnambool base.
The astute horseman had maintained a small team of horses at Olbury, headlined by former Albany galloper, God Has Chosen.
The Playing God gelding won six races under Smith and reached a career peak in the Group 3 Belmont Sprint (1400m) at Belmont in May.
The five-year-old, entered for rich Ascot carnival events, transferred to Smith’s Perth stable representative, Donna Riordan, last week.
Smith celebrated his 11th Group 1 success three weeks ago when he prepared Tuvalu to win the Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield.
The 63-year-old is disappointed he will no longer have a base in Perth, but said managing a two state stable became unworkable.
“The management of a two-state operation has thrown up much logistical problems,” Smith said.
“One of those was the inability to travel interstate during the Covid pandemic.
“Of late I haven’t been able to operate the Olbury stable at a profit and as a result and with a heavy heart I will close the WA stable at the end of this year.
“Perth Cup on January 1 is being planned as the final day for my WA trained horses.
“I would sincerely like to thank my loyal owners in WA that have stuck with me through thick and thin.
“A special thank you to my WA staff, headed by Donna Riordan, who have been steadfast in their work ethic, care of the horses and loyalty to the stable.
“And my stable doors are always open at Warrnambool for any WA owners who would like to race their horses in Victoria.”
Smith has a team of his Victorian horses entered for feature Pinnacle races.
They include Tuvalu, Corner Pocket, Lord Randolph and In The Boat.