Some smaller track stars who deserve a New Year mention 

Scott Mcglynn
Horse Racing Betting Tips
Horse Racing News
Some smaller track stars who deserve a New Year mention 

We look at lesser-known horses who have enjoyed an excellent end to 2023 with wins a plenty.

News Insights

  • Six-year-old 5/6 for new stable after being 2/41 elsewhere
  • A perfect 5/5 for a progressive Perth runner
  • Well-named seven-year-old loves Pioneer Park
  • Mare is 5/6 for new stable

As we close out 2023, we look at lesser lights who have been in winning form at the lesser tracks this season. There have been some notable performances this season at the minor courses, so let’s take a closer look.

With more than 350 tracks nationwide, no one can keep up with everything. Even those who spend all of their days delving as deep into the sport as they can still not know it all. As such, instead of looking at the big tracks and well-known horses, we thought we’d turn it on its head and go a little lower down the ladder.

Metal Bar

The six-year-old gelding left Jeremy Sylvester after a down-the-field run in late July to join Denise Ballard. He arrived at Ballard’s stable with a record of just two wins in the first 41 starts of his career. 

Since arriving at Ballard’s stable, Metal Bar has taken off, winning five of his six races for the stable. He has gone from a rating of 51 when he joined to a win of 66, and in one of those successes, he carried an impost of 65kg!

Six of the last 14 seasons have seen Ballard pick up 30+ winners, and this could be her best season yet, thanks to this gelding. She has 11 winners this campaign from just 33 runners, so it is a stable worth noting.

Starry Heights

The four-year-old gelding has won his last six starts in a row, including 5/5 this season. The last two of those have come at Ascot, which cannot in any way be called a country track, but the other three came at Belmont, who host nothing better than a Group 3, so it is a little lesser of a venue.

He started out winning off a mark of 61 in July, his most recent win off a level of 81. He has only had 11 races in his life, winning seven of those, so he might be one who will take on a better level in 2024.

Great Buy

He has always been a solid type but has taken off since joining Terry Gillett in early 2023. He has four wins and two seconds from six starts this season, all coming at Pioneer Park in the Northern Territory.

He has won over 1100m, 1200m, and 1400m in those four successes, moving from an opening win off a mark of 74 and success in his most recent outing from 83. He has never been as high as that in his career, which is all the more impressive at the age of seven after 45 races.


She only had two starts for Mark Currie before moving to the stable of Clinton Taylor, where she has matured into a lovely mare. She is still only four years old with just eight career starts, so she is very much one here who is a black book type for 2024.

She is 5/6 since joining Taylor, who has found the key to her by making the running. She loves getting her own way out in front, and while she was beaten on her most recent start, she was still second. A progressive sprinter, she has plenty of speed and can use that to good effect in 2024.

So there we have it - 2023 has ended, but we have so much to look forward to in 2024. While we spend so much of our time lauding the Group 1 performers, it is also nice to give some love to some of the country horses.