By Duane Ranger
Aileen Smith is in no hurry whatsoever to line up last Saturday’s impressive Rising Stars Championship Final winner, Jiggle And Jive.
In fact Smith said she would be taking one day at a time with the brilliant daughter of Bettors Delight. She even said she had no Inter-State plans for the gifted 3-year-old.
“I’ve been around horses for 60 years now, and I absolutely love them. Thy are by far my favourite animal. Their welfare always comes first. You have to remember in harness racing we are dealing with supreme equine athletes and anything can happen to them, at any time.
“My horses – Jiggle And Jive included – are day-to-day propositions. You can sometimes be too tempted to selfishly over-race them. If you have a bond with your horses you will soon know what is best for them. You just can’t afford look too far ahead in this game. Ultimately, the owner has the final say,” Smith said.
In fact Smith said she hadn’t even considered Group races anywhere except Queensland - despite one of New South Wales best horsemen personally telling her that he believed Jiggle And Jive was the best 3-year-old pacing filly in Australia.
“She’ll have couple of weeks off now and then we will target her towards the Triad Final and our Winter Carnival.
“I haven’t even thought of Inter-State, and the Harness Jewels in New Zealand never crossed my mind until you mentioned it,” Redcliffe-based Smith said.
“It’s all up to her owner of course, but I doubt he would want to travel out of State or country to watch her race, but then again you never know,” the 63-year-old added.
That owner is Keith Croft, who also bred the bay daughter of Versace Woman (by Christian Cullen).
He would have been proud as punch watching Jiggle And Jive win the $16,240 Egmont Park sponsored 1,660m mobile at Albion Park on Saturday night.
Stand-in driver Chris Geary was three-wide from gate five early, before going around to take the lead at the 1,000m.
He then controlled the race holding out a defiant and gutsy second favourite, Tiz A Sizzler, who sat parked. The margin was 1.5 metres.
Jiggle And Jive’s winning time of 1:55.6 was impressive – in fact a personal best. It equated to a slick 1:52.1 mile rate. Her sectionals were 27.6, 29.4, 28, and 27.3.
“She’s a beautiful filly with a lot of potential who could have a really big 3-year-old year,” Geary said.
It was Jiggle And Jive’s fourth straight win and she is now unbeaten in three this campaign.
All-up the little bay has now won six of her nine starts since making her winning debut at Redcliffe in late February last year. She has also placed twice and banked $90,244.
“I absolutely love her to bits. She has got such a wonderful temperament. Nothing seems to faze her. She’s such a dear little thing. She’s not fully matured yet, but she’s loving life and that’s all that matters to me,” Smith said.
Jiggle And Jive realised a lifetime dream for Smith and regular pilot Nathan Dawson at Albion Park last July.
“It was a huge thrill to win my first Group One winner. In fact that was the first time I’d ever had a starter in a Group One,” said, who lives only four doors down from Redcliffe Paceway.
Jingle And Jive not only won the $100,000 Egmont Park Stud Triad for the 2yo pacing fillies, but she did it comfortably by 3.9m (1:54.9 mile rate) – and on Racing Queensland’s biggest night of the season.