He was the man who ended one of the greatest streaks in the history of Australian horse racing, only to give it all away a few years later.
When Brian Mayfield Smith won the trainers premiership in 1985/6 he ended a run of 33 consecutive premierships for the great Tommy Smith.
Mayfield Smith had over a hundred horses in work that year, now he has just one – Russian Heart.
Mayfield Smith handed in his training license in 2009, saying he was disillusioned with the sport.
Mayfield Smith moved all the horses from his property at Yea, and it wasn’t until a horse named Russian Heart needed some re-educating that Mayfield Smith realised how much he missed the buzz and excitement of race day.
Russian Heart was trained by Mayfield Smith, however when the veteran trainer handed in his license the horse was transferred to Michael Moroney. The horse had just one start in 18 months for Moroney, who returned the horse to Mayfield Smith, telling him that it wasn’t up to going to the races.
That set off something in Mayfield Smith, who was determined to get Russian Heart to the races. After some serious re-education and one on one training, Russian Heart is set for a return to the track, in a barrier trial at Tartura tomorrow. He is expected to be entered in a race at Seymour in mid August.
“The horse is going really well,” Mayfield Smith said.
“He’s really settled down. I’ve got my fingers crossed he can trial well then we can look forward to racing him.
“I’m not getting too excited yet because I want to see him come through his trial first but the horse has definitely improved.”
Russian Heart won his first start for the veteran trainer back in June 2009, winning a maiden at Ballarat. He then showed some class when he finished fourth down the straight at Flemington behind the highly rated Denman. He was also second behind Nicastro at Caulfield. The horse had just one start for Moroney. That was in March last year, when it finished well down the track in benchmark 68 at Moonee Valley.
Mayfield Smith has committed to training a handful of horses but has said that his stable will not grow beyond five or six.
Far to Go will double the size of Mayfield Smith’s stable when he arrives next week.
Far to Go was another who went from Mayfield Smith to Moroney when the former premiership winner decided to hang up his hat. He actually won his first two starts for Moroney, however it has been slim pickings for Far to Go since then.