Horse racing: Syndicate could be a winner for Smart Set

Bryan Smart.
Bryan Smart.
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HAVING won Royal Ascot’s Coventry Stakes, Redcar’s Two-Year-Old Trophy and Doncaster’s £200,000 St Leger Yearling Stakes, Hambleton trainer Bryan Smart is a dab hand with two-year-olds.

Nineteen juveniles are in his care for the forthcoming Flat campaign, with half a dozen shares left in a ‘Smart Set’ triumvirate the trainer is particularly excited with.

National Hunt racing might be counting down the days until the start of next week’s Cheltenham Festival on Tuesday, but Hambleton House handler Smart’s mind is firmly on the upcoming Flat campaign. And the trainer is keen to draw attention to a new syndicate that gives prospective owners a share in three exciting juveniles for £5,000.

Three of Smart’s career highlights have come in two-year-old contests with the trainer taking the 1998 St Leger Yearling Stakes with Boomerang Blade and the 2005 Redcar Two-Year-Old Trophy with Misu Bond.

The following year, the Yorkshire trainer bagged the 2006 Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot with Hellvelyn. Now the handler is hoping another big juvenile prize may be imminent as the trainer prepares to welcome prospective owners to this Saturday’s Syndicate Open Morning where the three horses belonging to ‘The Smart Set’ will be named.

“The Smart Set syndicate contains three horses and it’s a five grand fee with no training fees for the share of three horses for 12 months,” explained Smart to the YEP.

“It’s a two-year commitment and the following year it will be cheaper because there won’t be the initial outlay of buying the horses. We’ve got an Excelebration colt that looks quite sharp and I’ve then got a filly by Hellvelyn that looks like she should be a middle distance horse or seven furlong plus filly.

“I trained Hellvelyn myself so I am hoping to do well with her.

“And then we’ve one from a stallion called Helmet, who is a lovely-quality big horse with a beautiful stride on him. He looks like he’d be a sort of middle season, back-end horse.

“With a bit of luck they will span the sport all year round.

“They are all two-year-olds, they look really smart and I am really pleased with them. With what we are doing with them, we couldn’t be more pleased. I’m very happy. The Helmet colt is out of the Jack Naylor family and the Hellvelyn filly has got a full sister that was second at Newmarket. The Excelebration horse is out of a mare that was really quick and won at Brighton. They are all out of winning families.”

Captain Gerrard, Excelette and Titus Alone are three more juveniles to have landed big prizes for Smart, who hopes he has amassed something of a reputation for succeeding with the youngest horses in training.

“I try!” he laughed. “With two-year-olds, you have got to take your time and let them come to you. Let them strengthen up and just take your time with them. You’ve just got to hope one of them shines but they are all nice types and they are all different types as well. They have all got nice breeding and I couldn’t be more pleased with them.”

l Saturday’s Syndicate Open Morning takes place from 9am until noon at Hambleton House, Sutton Bank, Thirsk, North Yorkshire, YO7 2HA. For info email or call 01845 597481.