By Brad Gray
Form guides can sometimes be deceptive and that is certainly the case with talented filly Faraway Town, who despite her strike rate, possesses the turn of foot to win almost any race according to trainer Matthew Smith.
It’s easy to forget that Faraway Town was Group One placed as a two-year-old having run third in the Sires Produce Stakes while last spring she successively placed in the G3 Spring Champion Stakes and G3 Kembla Grange Classic. Throw in fourths in the G1 Champagne Stakes and the G2 Sandown Guineas and you’ve got an outstanding CV.
“She is a very good filly and could win just about any race you put her in but she needs pace up front,” Smith said.
“At some stage she’ll prove just how good she is and will knock over a couple of good races in a preparation.
“She could have easily won two of three more if she put herself into her races a little bit earlier but every jockey who rides her says that is her pattern and to not mess around with it.
“We don’t want to ride her that way, she just wants to run that way. We’ve tried different things to get to race handier but she takes a furlong to get into her rhythm. It’d be great if she could settle midfield but I don’t know whether she will or not.”
Smith has always had a big opinion of Faraway Town and back in October of 2015 headed off to Rosehill with a debutant confident that he had a “serious horse” on his hands. As it turned out, she was nabbed on the line by Yankee Rose.
“Yankee Rose turned out to be Yankee Rose which made me feel a bit better but I would have been gutted if the horse that beat her never went on,” recalled the Warwick Farm-based trainer.
Faraway Town returned a fortnight ago at Rosehill and produced an eye-catching effort in a sit and sprint, dashing home her last 200m in a scintillating 10.71 seconds.
Faraway Town's fast finishing fourth first-up
“She went super and she’ll improve off that going into Saturday. She has certainly come back well and looks fantastic.”
“She is definitely a bit stronger this time in. There is a bit more beef on her as she is starting to mature a little bit now as she is getting older.”
It’s worth noting that Faraway Town’s one win in her 15 start career was on a heavy track so that holds no fears for Smith ahead of her second-up assignment on Saturday.
“The wet track shouldn’t be a problem. The Not A Single doubts generally love it. We’re not worried about the track but would like to see her a little handier in the run.”
Meanwhile, Smith is buoyant that his stable “flag bearer” Zin Zan Eddie would find his form again once he gets out in trip and has more miles in his legs.
“You look at his form and you might think he made have seen better days but he is working well and he just wants a mile now. I want to go to the Winter Stakes (July 15) and he is a gross bugger so I need to get some races into him. You won’t see him hit any form until he gets to 1400m and beyond,” Smith said of the seven-year-old.
“Ask anyone who goes to the races whether they’ve heard of Zin Zan Eddie and everyone knows him. We love the horse and the owners are fantastic people. He has been a phenomenal horse for us.”
Another galloper to keep an eye on from the growing Smith yard is three-year-old filly My Maher who is four from four to launch her career.
“She hasn’t been beaten, albeit around the country, but she is a nice filly and she’ll keep progressing,” Smith said.
“She might run Saturday week at Newcastle or the following week at Warwick Farm. She is not really in love with soft tracks so I’ve got to be a bit careful where I run her next.”