Big things ahead for Robert Smith Memorial Maiden winner Big Boy Wilson
If last year's result of the Robert Smith Memorial Maiden was anything to go by, then Saturday night's victor Big Boy Wilson is one greyhound for your blackbook.
Inaugural winner French Martini has become one of the star greyhounds of the NSW greyhound racing scene, notching up a track record at The Gardens, the Group 3 Ladies Bracelet and Group 2 Black Top finals after being victorious over the 515m distance. Last year's final also included the likes of Group 1 winner Embrace and Vamoose.
Robert Smith was a renowned Hunter Valley mentor, who unfortunately lost his battle with cancer last year.
Close friend Kevin Gordon introduced the Robert Smith Memorial Maiden series in his honour, with $20,000 on offer to winning connections.
Smith's most notable chasers throughout his training career included Group 1 Paws Of Thunder winner Lochinvar Marlow, Miss Elly Mint, Lochinvar Hugo and Lochinvar Vogue to name a few.
Stuart Hazlett's Has Ability was sent out as the favourite runner by punters at $3.80 with online bookmakers. With plenty of support for John Finn's Zipping Edith ($4.00) and Toxic Label for Tom Rees ($4.40), the 2023 Robert Smith Memorial Maiden final became a very open betting affair.
At box rise, eventual winner Big Boy Wilson stepped beautifully from box two and lead the field into the first turn, with Silver Session from box three a length away turning into the back straight.
Pre-race favourite Has Ability quickly took up third position and was hunting up along the rail as the trio approached the home turn, with Big Boy Wilson showing plenty of kick to hold off his rivals in a slick time of 29.67.
Silver Session held on for second just 0.75 lengths behind the winner, with Has Ability and the fast-finishing Zipping Edith, dead-heating for third.
2023 Robert Smith Memorial Maiden Final (The Gardens, 525m) – Big Boy Wilson (29.67) T: Martin Bowe
Big Boy Wilson gave the feature race its first locally trained victor, with owner/trainer Martin Bowe a resident of the Medowie suburb.
The son of Barcia Bale and Kissing Carter made his debut at Wentworth Park last month, before returning to The Gardens for this series and finished second in his heat last week, behind Toxic Label.
Bowe was elated post-race and no doubt has plenty to look forward too in 2023, with kennel mate Wilson's Pick also in a purple patch of form, having won his past two starts at Gosford over the 388m, in quick times of 22.02 and 22.08.