Happy Retirement Smad Place!

SMADBy Samantha


Every racing fan knows of Smad Place. A flash of white at the fore front of proceedings in a majority of the high class chases ran in the past few years. He ran thirty three times and won nine of them earning himself a strike rate of twenty seven percent.

Born on 24th April 2007, he came over from France in 2010 to Alan King’s yard, after running twice on the flat in France. His first run was at Newbury, a track at which he has ran five times at and won on three of those occasions. He won the race by twenty seven lengths to the short priced favourite. Next time out, he found Grade One company tough and was third by about three lengths. His next win came next time out when he dropped back in class at Wincanton. Next time out, he ran in the Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival and came tenth.

Smad returned back to the track in January of the following year and won the Holloway’s Hurdle at Ascot, a Grade 2 Limited Handicap. Two starts later, he lined up at the Cheltenham Festival for a second time- this time in the World Hurdle- and finished in third behind Big Buck’s. At the Aintree Grand National meeting, Smad fell at the forth last with Big Buck’s once again winning.

During the next season, Smad Place didn’t win at all and he was third in the World Hurdle for a second time at Cheltenham.

On his first chase start, in the November of that year, he was six lengths ahead when he unseated his rider at the last fence. He won two subsequent novice chases before going to the Cheltenham Festival to run in the RSA Chase. Alan King was confident with Smad’s preparation and couldn’t see why he wouldn’t go close. The grey was clear up the run-in but was headed by 12/1 shot O’Faolains Boy in the final fifty yards and Smad was runner up at the Festival once again. His first start for the next season was at Newbury in the Hennessy Gold Cup. He finished fifth with subsequent Grand National winner Many Clouds winning.

The following year, Smad was in the winner’s enclosure after that race. He bolted up by a huge twelve lengths beating Theatre Guide and First Lieutenant. He had kicked off the season in fine style winning the Graduation Chase at Kempton by eight lengths and went on to do well for the rest of the season winning the BetBright Trial Chase at Cheltenham.

Smad Place has seemed to struggle to be in the winners enclosure as new talent emerges. He kicked off the 2017/2018 season with a brilliant win in the Grade 2 Old Roan Chase at Aintree in October, showing there was still life in his old legs.

But now the old boy’s career is over. Retired safe and with a ligament injury.

Happy Retirement Smad Place!

Thank you for the memories and happiness you have brought to so many people.


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