Matthew paid his way to Ireland to work with trainers in England and Ireland before taking up an opportunity to work with Aidan O’Brien at what was an integral juncture in the Irishman’s career. Matthew followed Aidan as he progressed from being the country’s leading jumps trainer to reigniting Ireland’s most famous stable, Ballydoyle.
Initially a track rider, Matthew quickly progressed through the ranks to become Aidan’s Assistant Trainer, working alongside his quietly spoken mentor for two and a half years as Ballydoyle emerged as the world’s premier racing stable.
The opportunity to learn a new style of racehorse preparation in the United States proved tempting and Matthew elected to continue his education as Assistant Trainer for Niall O’Callaghan. With O’Callaghan constantly moving between stables in different states Matthew was left to manage a string of 30 horses and staff and revelled in the challenge. Hard work bore results and horses under Matthew’s care competed at the showpiece Breeders’ Cup meeting.
Before Matthew’s two years in America had come to a close he was offered the post as the Stable Foreman for Australia’s Hall of Fame trainer, Bart Cummings. For almost five years Matthew worked alongside Bart as a Melbourne Cup, Australian Cup, Doncaster Handicap and a string of other Group One events were plundered.
With almost a decade of international and local experience behind him Matthew decided the time was right to open his own training establishment.
Matthew’s wife Melissa is an accomplished horse woman in her own right. Having grown up on a property in Walcha, on the Northern Tablelands of NSW, it was only natural that much of her youth was spent on or around horses. Extensive competition in gymkhanas and at shows across the state was a precursor to her being crowned the Champion Girl Rider at the Sydney Royal Easter Show at the age of just 17.
Melissa continued to show horses before taking up the opportunity to work for some of Japan’s leading trainers in Hokkaido. However, Australia came calling with Melissa returning to take up the mantle as Marketing Manager of William Inglis and Son where she played a significant role in the company’s growth for five years before joining Matthew full time.
Matthew and Melissa Smith have worked tirelessly to prepare themselves for running a world class racing stable by learning off some of the most astute trainers from around the globe.
Together, Matthew and Melissa have ensured that Matthew C. Smith Racing Stable has made an immediate impact in the racing game, with Group One-winning Dane Shadow mare Hurtle Myrtle, a winner of not only the Group One Myer Classic, but the Group Two Sapphire Stakes and the Group Two Dane Ripper.
Purchased for only $55,000 as a yearling, Hurtle Myrtle went on to earn just shy of $800,000 for her connections on the race track, before being sold for $1million as a broodmare prospect to leading Hunter Valley farm Segenhoe Stud.
Others to highlight include the Flying Spur colt Krupt, who won the Group Two Todman Stakes and was a leading fancy for the Group One Golden Slipper of his year before an injury ruled him out on morning of the world’s richest two-year-old race. Krupt is in fact the sire of one of the three prospects in this racing partnership.
Combat Kitty was purchased at the Magic Millions sale by Matthew and Melissa for $150,000. With a win on debut by eight lengths at Kembla Grange she secured a start in the rich Magic Millions Two Year Old race running a fast finishing second to Kurata Queen and earning her connections $300,000. She then went onto the Melbourne Spring Carnival and was impressive winning at Listed level.
From 18 career starts with a previous trainer, Al Maher mare Cabernet was not fortunate enough to win at stakes level, but after five runs for the Matthew C. Smith Racing Stable, the mare has not finished further back than fifth in five stakes races, including victory in the Listed Summoned Stakes during the Melbourne Spring Carnival, as well as a second at Group Three level and a fourth in the Group Two Villiers Stakes.