Tough winning effort by Torrid Bromac

Torrid Bromac and Gavin Smith beat Boomer Bailey and John Dunn in the feature race at Oamaru yesterday. Photo: Jonny Turner
Torrid Bromac and Gavin Smith beat Boomer Bailey and John Dunn in the feature race at Oamaru yesterday. Photo: Jonny Turner
Torrid Bromac is flying - well, almost.

The pacer made his debut for trainer-driver Gavin Smith a winning one with a tough effort in the feature pace at Oamaru yesterday.

After the win, onlookers were saying Smith has the horse flying after taking over the pacer's training earlier this week.

He does - but horse is not literally in the air quite yet.

Torrid Bromac will be on the next available flight, likely to be at the end of this month, to America to do his future racing at Yonkers Raceway in New York.

''I thought this guy would suit the half-mile tracks [800m] - at Yonkers, that's where the money is.''

Smith purchased the pacer from fellow Canterbury trainer Regan Todd's stable and will sign over ownership to an American client once he leaves.

''There is no flight for the rest of the month so he asked me to keep him fit for the rest of the month and see if he can pay for his training.''

Although the horse toughed out a big win in his first start in Smith's colours, the trainer-driver was deflecting praise on to Todd after the win.

''I can't take much credit - the credit's got to go to Regan.''

What Smith cannot deflect though, is his eye for spotting talented horseflesh.

Race favourite Ultimate Desire was no match for Torrid Bromic in race 8 yesterday, but her trainer, Brad Mowbray, still went home a happy man after bagging wins with Gabby's Choice in race 5 and Speedy Mach in race 9.

Donegal Bettorgretch might have missed the chance to defend her 2016 Harness Jewels but returned to the races in style yesterday.

The Cran Dalgety-trained trotter took yesterday's feature trot, her first win since claiming the 3yr-old trotting Jewels final in Cambridge last year.

Although she capped her last season in style, her 4yr-old season has been rather indifferent.

Donegal Bettorgretch was spelled after her Jewels win and then returned in November for a scratchy seven-start campaign before returning to the paddock, which effectively ruled her out of Jewels contention, this year.

''We gave her a spell and she has taken a while coming back,'' driver Dexter Dunn said.

The effort Donegal Bettorgretch put in to drag the main pack up to the tearaway leaders Red Hot Poker and Playboy's Prince did not tell in the straight.

''She did it easy really. It was a good effort, because she hasn't race for a long time,'' Dunn said.

''She trotted as well as she ever had. She's steering really well; she used to hang badly.''

Tijuana Taxi also produced a big trotting effort to win race 4, yesterday.

The Colin Harrison-rained trotter began safely but slowly for driver Gerard O'Reilly and settled last of the pack before working into a the race late with a big finish.

Bettor's Heart was not as far back in the running, but came with an even bigger finish to win the previous event on the Oamaru card.

John Dunn angled the Peter Bagrie-trained 3yr-old from three back on the markers to the extreme outside where she let down a with a perfectly-timed finish.

-By Jonny Turner

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