In-form Commands gelding Oakfield Commands will be the third horse Broadmeadow-based trainer Darren Smith lines up in a Ramornie Handicap and he is hoping he can take home his first trophy in the Grafton Cup Carnival feature in 2013 at his fourth attempt.
Smith’s first Ramornie runner was Pimpala Prince who was a luckless ninth back in 1998 behind Kidlat before running second in the next year’s edition to Eyes To Spy before Oakfield Duke ran a well beaten seventh to 2002 Ramornie Handicap winner Citichy.
The richest race on the country NSW sprint calendar, this year’s $150,000 Listed WHK Ramornie Handicap (1200m) is due to take place on July 10 and Smith plans to have five-year-old Oakfield Commands prime in time for the showdown.
The galloper, owned by Bruce McKenzie who also raced Oakfield Duke, has won their past two races on the trot over the 1200m at Randwick most recently defeating the Chris Waller-trained Eigelstein in a Benchmark 80 on June 8.
It is those recent runs that have confirmed their stakes assignment next month, Oakfield Commands yet to see a black type start in their 17 races so far, which Smith hopes to win for his client and friend McKenzie.
“Bruce and I would love to have another shot at the Ramornie,’’ Smith said last Saturday after Oakfield Commands’ Sydney success.
“Oakfield Commands is flying and the Ramornie is a race that should be perfect for him. We’ve had it in mind for him for some time.
“It’s a race we want to win as we thought we had a real shot at the Ramornie years ago with Oakfield Duke.
“But the track in his year was too firm and he just could not stretch out under those conditions.”
Leading into the Ramornie 11 years ago Oakfield Duke won four of their six lead up races, form Smith is seeing repeated by Oakfield Commands in 2013.
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