Smart Melody Impressive in Metro Debut at Canterbury
Brenton Avdulla was more than a little effusive in his praise for Smart Melody, out of the stables of Kris Lees.
For Avdulla, a win at Canterbury in a mid-week meeting is the sort of thing you would expect for the de facto 2017 – 2018 Jockeys Premiership rider.
Riding juveniles is unpredictable, as Hugh Bowman will attest, but the horse Avdulla was riding, Smart Melody, has as best we know not thrown a hoop yet.
It was the young filly’s first time on a metro track and she made the most of the opportunity, scoring by over five lengths after earlier winning a maiden on her home course at Newcastle.
She did not exactly fool anyone, as she was sent out a $1.55 favourite, but Avdulla afterwards commented, “I haven’t had one accelerate like that for a while. She’s very exciting.”
Avdulla was aboard Estijaab when she won the 2018 Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes at Rosehill, so he knows a good juvenile when he sees or rides one.
Lees was not there to see Smart Melody play her sweet music, but he seconded Avdulla’s opinion, saying, “She’s always shown me good ability. Goes alright doesn’t she,” he said. “What she’s doing, she’s doing on a wet winter track but there’s no doubt she’s above average. Average horses don’t win like that so we’ve got some thinking to do.”
He was referring to the possibility that Smart Melody may be saved for a jump in race grade after she is given a freshen. The spring racing season, although it seems far distant, is really not, so Smart Melody might be a candidate for the appropriate races at Flemington, Moonee Valley or Caulfield in a month or two.
Sweet Melody, provided she lives up the touting she is receiving from her rider and trainer, could be a star in the making, with the sort of finishing speed that could see her winning more than an ordinary share of Group 1s.