Malibu claims victory in Battle of the Bush Series
Horse Racing: Craig Smith's heart wasn't the only thing racing at Charleville's Battle of the Bush series.
The Roma-based trainer knew the stakes were high on Saturday for his horse, Malibu Affair, but after a nail-biting finish he snagged the win, with Wayne Baker's Gendebein coming a close second.
It was the second consecutive year that one of Smith's horses claimed a victory at the Battle of The Bush.
"Malibu is a really consistent horse,” Smith said. "He's been racing extremely well in the 12 months we've had him, so we knew we had a good chance of taking the race.”
Smith, who has been training race horses for the past 31 years, believes the Battle of the Bush Series gives rural trainers and jockeys a great opportunity to progress and race for more prize money.
"It's good to win any race but this one highlights how strong racing is in country towns and raises talking points for the industry out this way,” he said.
After winning the first Battle of the Bush series last year with Timetus, Smith didn't get the result he was hoping for when Timetus competed in Brisbane a few months later . He hopes this year will be different.
"You have to take the highs with the lows when it comes to racing,” he said.
"Sometimes it feels like you never catch a break but my love of the horses is what keeps me in it.
"My horses have an off race every now and then but, when they win, there's no better feeling.”
Malibu Affair will compete against 15 other qualifiers from eight Racing Queensland regions in a thrilling finale at the Group 1 Sky Racing Tattersall's Tiara Day.
The race will be run on Saturday, June 22, at Eagle Farm for the $125,000