Fierce Impact received three majors south of the border for him, too, however by no means one in Sydney.
“Finally,” Smith stated. “At long last. It’s not been for lack of trying. We’ve had a few swings and I said to Damien in the paddock before the race, ‘it’s about time we won one in Sydney’.
“He was confident and I knew the mare was right. We just needed a bit of luck in running. It was a tough race, but she’s a good mare. She raced extremely well in Melbourne last prep, fourth in a group 1. We knew she was right up with those mares, and she handled the track well today.”
Nimalee bounced and put herself near the pace, earlier than zipping previous Annavisto ($16) to win by a widening two-and-a-quarter lengths. Icebath’s ($5.50) seek for a primary group 1 will proceed after she wound up late to complete third.
“Someone asked me today, ‘do you get nervous?’ I don’t get nervous when they’re fit, well and ready to go,” Smith stated. “It’s only when they have a setback or bad barriers but, when you’ve got one of the best jockeys in Australia on, I came here knowing she was ready to run well.
“When you have a mare like this you want to be winning a group 1 with her, but sometimes they don’t. Today, it all went to plan and she was strong. She was just ready to go. It was a bit of a relief.”
No doubt for Oliver too, whose profession has featured triumph, tragedy and treachery in equal components.
But together with his fiftieth birthday solely a few months away, there’s no set date for the end line.
“I suppose as you are getting older the next generations are coming through, so it’s hard to get the first pick of rides,” he stated. “But I’ve still been getting good support and I appreciate it.
“It’s great to be a part of these bigger carnivals, and it’s nice to show that you can still get the job done when you get the chance. I’m not sure [how long I’ll keep going]. I still enjoy it. As long as I’m feeling good and getting good rides, I’ll keep going for a little bit longer yet.”
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