Forbes trainer Raymond Smith is no stranger to Wentworth Park and after Thursday he’s guaranteed another trip to the state’s home of racing.
Smith took out both of the day’s Ladbrokes Odds Boost Dubbo to Wentworth Park Series (516m) heats, with two very different dogs.
The first heat was won by the promising Little Digger while that win was backed up by victory to the more experienced Irinka Sneaky.
Little Digger was the faster of the two, getting home in 30.25 seconds, and Smith liked what he saw.
“He’s going well. Only a young dog and I think there is (a bit of potential) but he just needs to handle himself a little bit better,” he said.
The reason Smith said that was because of the way Little Digger ran home in his heat.
Trailing Moorbell Betty ($6.70) down the back straight, Little Digger ($1.40 favourite) caught up but ran into the back of the leader slightly.
It saw both of the dogs slow up and that allowed Steve Keeping ($9.50) back into the race.
But Little Digger wasn’t affected for long and powered home down the straight for a one length win from Steve Keeping while Sista Grant ($34.10) ran home for third.
“That (winning) is the aim and he’s in the final now so we’ll see what happens,” Smith said.
The trainer added he was planning on seeing how the second heat panned out before making any comments on Little Digger’s hopes in the final but even he was left pleasantly surprised by Irinka Sneaky’s win.
Irinka Sneaky hadn’t won since June heading into his heat but home Quicklkee Cassie ($13.50) in a sprint finish to break his drought.
“He’s been out of form but he had the one box and he’s been crying out for the fence,” Smith said.
“He’s missed some work after an injury but he’s done well today.”
Smith’s hope was nowhere near the best out of the boxes and it was Sketchy Amber ($13.60) which led the field into the first bend.
But it didn’t take Irinka Sneaky ($3.30) long to find the lead, running along the inside and powering to the front.
He quickly built a strong lead but his lack of work lately showed late on as he began to tire.
Quicklee Cassie ($13.50) loomed but Smith’s hope hung on to win by half-a-length while Oldmate Everest ($8.20) was third.
Graeme Smith also finished with a double on Thursday while Charmaine Roberts claimed yet another treble.
The talented Give Us Double, Rodney Keeping and Black Mosel all scored victories for Roberts.