Racing matters: Handing out the gongs

As promised over the last couple of weeks, here are the first annual Smithys, given out rather liberally and without any pattern whatsoever:

SBW statuette for code-hoppers
Supreme award goes to Amber Hoffman for training winners in both thoroughbred and harness racing. Highly commended to the owners of the Hoffman-trained galloper Enchanter who are mostly involved in the harness racing industry.

Wingatui thoroughbred trainer Paul Richards was a contender for owning a share of the pacer Highview Anwell, but was disqualified after wearing shorts to Forbury Park when the horse won in March. Not acceptable, Paul.

Ron Burgundy moustache for quote of the year
''The best thing I ever did was sack that Matty Williamson'' - Jonny Turner after Hi Gun won at Forbury Park in June. Williamson perhaps had the final say, ending his season with a career-high 113 winners.

Drivers' series driver of the year
Matthew Williamson - won the interprovincial drivers' series at Ascot Park last month with Jonny Cox and followed it up with a win in the Brothers In Arms series at Oamaru on Saturday.

The Best Western voucher (not real) for best accommodation
The unnamed harness racing trainer who enjoyed perhaps slightly too much of the hospitality on offer at Wobbly's after a race meeting and found temporary lodgings for the night in the stable block at Forbury Park.

Ronnie Barker Memorial Mug for worst jokes
Forbury Park trials secretary Kevin Brosnan has some shockers on the results sheet every second Monday. To be fair, I've chuckled at a few of them - unfortunately not many of them can be repeated in this column due to the content.

Les Mills certificate for a free workout
The birdcage gate at Wingatui has seen better days. I am developing a better right shoulder than Olo Brown as I attempt to heave it open after a race to allow the horses back in. Luckily, I have been assured Casey Tippet will be saving my weak frame by opening the gate in future.

One year down
I'm generally loath to repeat myself - other than when it comes to excessive playing of the national anthem - but I must reiterate how appreciative I am of the racing community in Otago since I arrived here a year ago yesterday. You've given me plenty of interesting yarns in the last 12 months, and please contact me if you have another one to share on (03) 479-3531.

Lazy Fiver
Betabeeasy rolled in to third at Methven on Sunday, paying $2 a place, so that's something. Atacama gets in at 53kg in the Waikato Gold Cup (race 7) at Te Rapa tomorrow, and was at $8.50 when the markets opened yesterday.

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