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In-form trotter Highland Star could help Rangiora driver Gavin Smith turn around his fortunes at Oamaru tomorrow.
Smith was dealt a big blow when the career of his stable star, Great Things Happen, was put in jeopardy. The giant trotter was diagnosed with a suspected broken splint bone
and has been ruled out of racing for the rest of the season.
It could even end his racing career.
"I had X-rays done," Smith said.
"That showed the fracture and now we need to look at things a lot more closely and get some expert opinions.
"If it becomes an issue with the suspensory [ligament] it may be terminal, or not worth bringing him back again if it's likely to be a problem again.
"He's been a great horse to us and he's already been through a lot with various other issues."
Smith's trotting fortunes look much brighter for the Oamaru meeting. He will steer Highland Star for trainer Ron Paterson in race 8. The squaregaiter looks brilliantly suited to the 2000m standing-start conditions of the race.
Highland Star has been first past the post in his past standing-start trots over sprint distances.
He was relegated from first to fifth at Orari two starts ago but went on to win emphatically at Rangiora in his next start.
West Melton trainer Ken Ford lines up two in-form trotters against Highland Star.
Zsa Zara and Rocknpop have drawn handily in barriers 4 and 6 respectively.
Oamaru trainer Phil Williamson also has two horses in the race. Both Davey Mac and Majestic Connies look set to have to work into the race after starting from the unruly position.