Smith’s Kalgoorlie Tester

7
Aug

Ashanti Lass faces a stern test on her return but trainer David Smith says the Balmont mare is capable of figuring in the finish first up on Sunday.

Ashanti Lass runs into a smart line-up in the Yerilla Station Handicap (1100m) with King Cool and Prager, chasing a hat trick, posing big threats.

But Smith is upbeat and optimistic about Ashanti Lass and rates her a top winning chance if she can recapture her form from earlier this year.

The six-year-old, previously handled by Smith’s father, Cliff, showed a real liking for Kalgoorlie, reeling off a string of consistent runs in her maiden campaign.

She struck early with a first up win in March, before four consecutive minor placings, culminating with a third to Let’s Go Lakers last May.

“It would have been nice to have pinched another race with her last time out,” said Smith.

“She is just a very honest mare who has come back nicely and her work has been nice.

“She goes well fresh and I expect her to be up there and in with a show.”

Ashanti Lass has two placings from four first up attempts. In a field of ten she starts from barrier six for glamour jockey, Lucy Warwick.

Smith believes a lack of strong depth will give Planet Five a real shot of breaking through in the Yandall Station Maiden (1400m).

Smith had his first close look at the Planet Five gelding when he ran a creditable 1 ¼ length second to Yeah Yeah Yeah two weeks ago.

Before that at the same track he ran a distant third to Phantom Choice, beaten 5 ¼ lengths, when trained by, Darren McAuliffe.

Phantom Choice has since franked the form and made it look very good with successive wins at Belmont Park.

Smith says Planet Black, drawn in barrier four for apprentice, Jordan Turner, was showing steady improvement.

“He is still green with plenty to learn,” said Smith.

“Last start he did a lot of things wrong which probably cost him any chance he had.

“I don’t think this is a very strong race and I believe he will be right up there.”

Smith rates Ashanti Lass and Planet Black as the best of his runners with Mardonious likely to be spelled after the Menangina Station Handicap (1400m).

RWWA: Julio Santarelli