Sydney-based trainer Matthew Smith has always had a penchant for training jumpers and when he opened his Victorian satellite stable recently at Pakenham, he took it as an opportunity to indulge that desire.
Smith said when he worked at Aidan O’Brien’s stable in Ireland he was involved with their jumpers and almost joined that arm of the team.
At Hamilton last Tuesday, True Marvel had the distinction of being Smith’s first jumps winner and the first from his Pakenham stables.
Smith got his jumps licence a few years ago and prepared Once For Lost for a fifth placing in a Warrnambool maiden hurdle before deciding to leave him with Amy McDonald as he wasn’t set-up to train jumpers.
Smith said True Marvel, who finished second in the Sydney Cup three starts ago, is likely to have one more start this campaign in the Brisbane Cup.
“I think True Marvel will make a nice jumper next year. He’s been in work for a long time and will need a break after Brisbane,” he said.
Smith had two other members of his team trial at Traralgon on Friday, with Flambeur winning and Jimmy Manolo running fifth.
“I always wanted to train over the jumps, as if I come across the right ones, it’s a good option to have,” he said.
“In most cases they will be dual purpose as they will still run on the flat.
“If they enjoy it, I’ll give them a trial and if not, we’ll keep them on the flat.”
Smith said having a small satellite stable would make things easier for his team, especially at carnival time.
“This way it’s so much easier. We don’t have to arrange to find a place for our horses as it’s already there. That will make a big difference,” he said.
Smith has leased boxes from Colin Scott at Pakenham.