YEAR: 2007


Gerry & LynnSmith with the Ordeal Cup
The quite relentless Some Direction show at Addington continued on it's merry way last week when the 10-year-old mare dominated the $20,000 Ordeal Trotting Cup.

In what was her 138th race and the commencement of her eighth season of racing, Some Direction stepped it out like a 2-year-old to win the time honoured and attractive trophy at her fourth attempt - she was sixth in 2004 and third for the last two years. It was the daughter of Sundon's 24th win, while with 18 seconds and 17 thirds and numerous other cheques she has now won $274,000 with no signs of slowing down.
Some Direction is now only two races away from being a centurion at Addington, where she has now recorded 15 wins and become seemingly an almost permanent fixture in recent years. Her first six wins came at Ashburton (two), Washdyke (two), Oamaru and Forbury Park, but 15 have come at headquarters.

Some Direction will next attempt to further her quite extraordinary Addington record in the $30,000 Canterbury Park Trotting Cup in about a month, a race she won last year by coming off 10 metres to down Rowe Cup winner Inspire. The Banks Peninsula Trotting Cup also beckons, although Lynn Smitt is not sure whether she likes grass tracks as much as Addington. "She has never really excelled on grass, but she hasn't raced much on them either," said Smith. One has to in fact go back almost five years to November, 2002, for the last time Some Direction raced on a grass track, when an unlucky fourth at Orari when assessed as a four-win horse, while the only other time she has raced on the grass was when second and beaten a nose at Motukarara the previous February.

Whether Some Direction tackles that Cup or not will be a sidelight though to her main mission of NZ Cup Week and the Dominion on the final night, where she was a close fifth last year. Three years ago on NZ Cup Day she recorded perhaps her best performance when she downed Whatsundermykilt and the open class trotters in the Christchurch Casino Trot, sitting parked but winning in what is still a national record of 3:17.8 for 2600m from a stand and at odds of 76-to-one.

Smith, who races Some Direction with husband Gerry and son Justin and trains her with the latter in what is very much a family affair, downplayed her latest performance by pointing out that she was "lucky striking a field with a few of the stars missing", but she deserves every reward she gets just for perseverance and consistency. Her main rivals in stablemates Lord Burghley and Rhythm Of The Night are already sick of the sight of Some Direction, and they had pretty much conceded the Ordeal Cup to her before the race began last week. It was left to a spirited bid by Sundon entire Diedre Don to make a race of it, but his task of sitting outside the mare after circling the field a lap out was a forlorn one. Some Direction had been given an easy lead from the 2000m and Justin Smith merely had to turn the wick up over the last 800m in 58.6.

After Some Direction's form had got a little indifferent towards the end of her last campaign and some thoughts had turned to a possible retirement this year, such considerations have well and truly been put on the back burner for now. "Her form did drop away a bit and we weren't too sure what was going on, outside of having a bit of a cold for a while. We had expected her to go very well in her last race last season, but when Justin pulled her out there was nothing there. So we turned her out for a month and a bit earlier than usual, and wondered whether we might be pulling the stumps on her racing career this year."

Some Direction responded to that notion by winning two trials as easily as her raceday resumption. Smith is unsure what has given Some Direction such a degree of longevity, but notes the French sire of her dam as a likely source of toughness. Gekoj was probably the best of the four French trotting sires imported by Oddvar Andersen back in the early 80s, and was propably unlucky to be lost after just four seasons at stud. He sired about 100 foals and 19 winners outside of the great David Moss along with Look (9 wins) included good sorts in Cocokoj (5 NZ wins), Diamond Trail (7 NZ wins), Drott Moss (13 NZ wins, $111,685), French Warrior (4 NZ wins, US1:57.3) and Koy's Game (5 NZ wins). His mares have also poduced several fine performers, most notably Stig outside of Look's Now Another Look and Some Direction, while Take A Moment was from a mare by another French sire in Jet d'Emeraude.

Gekoj certainly had an impressive pedigree of French siring greats and Look has now produced eight winners from her first eight foals, after Speculate won at Ashburton by downing Desert Victory. That sister to Some Direction and the third of four foals bred by the Smiths from Look - Lynn takes turns with her sisters Helen Pope and Denise Nyhan - produced a CR Commando colt two years ago and was then brought back into work. "She goes pretty good actually, but we've just had another problem with her and I'm not too sure where her future lies at the moment."

Having had a good experience with Gekoj, Smith is looking favourably upon new French sire Love You should it come to that (breeding) with either Some Direction or Speculate this season. Then there is just the small matter of Some Direction's grandam being Someday, a good trotting mare by Light Brigade from Passive (U Scott) who also produced the splendid About Now (25 wins).

Smith also notes that while Some Direction has done a lot of racing, she has not done much travelling due to being a "picky eater" when away and she has hardly been stressed much either. "The focus has always been about just keeping her happy - she seems to be a lot happier in the float than in the paddock anyway."

Credit: Frank Marrion writing in HRWeekly 19Sep07

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