Smokin’ Joey Capable of Second Group 1 Victory in Kingston Town Classic

December 2nd, 2014

Smokin’ Joey has secured several commendable results through the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival without managing to break through for a race victory, leading to trainer Wez Hunter changing tactics with the classy gelding for the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) at Ascot this weekend.

Smokin' Joey is reportedly in peak condition ahead of the 2014 Kingston Town Classic. Photo: Race Horse Photos Australia

Smokin’ Joey is reportedly in peak condition ahead of the 2014 Kingston Town Classic. Photo: Race Horse Photos Australia

Jumping from the gates well in the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) last time out, jockey Ben Melham settled the Encosta De Lago gelding in the middle of the field of 16, receiving a relatively hassle-free run in transit before running on for a credible fourth.

Having not secured a race win over a running distance of 1400m, Hunter is thrilled with the condition of his sole Kingston Town Classic entrant and said he will likely instruct Smokin’ Joey’s jockey to settle towards the rear of the field before a late charge on Saturday.

“He hasn’t left an oat since the race and I couldn’t be happier with him,” Hunter told Racing Ahead.

“He just walked off the track and I was really happy with his work this morning.

“I am very, very happy.

“He went 1200 and ran home a strong 600.

“He did it in good style out wide on the grass here at Ascot and I couldn’t be happier.

“He hasn’t won beyond 1400, but he put down a second to Boban who was flying in the spring and a good fourth here the other day.

“I am not convinced that he won’t rule it out, but it remains to be seen.

“It is hard to be confident in big races and it is weight-for-age, but I wouldn’t say that they are genuine weight-for-age horses and he gets his chance.

“If he is going to run out 1800 this is his chance.”

Claiming six wins and seven minor places over his 48 career starts so far, Smokin’ Joey was unlucky not to break through for a maiden victory at the highest level of racing over the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival; charging home to finish an agonizingly-close second to champion miler Boban in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) in November.

Returning to racing this year in less-than convincing form, the gelding out of Dalzing beat a solitary opponent home in the Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) first-up and failed to beat a single runner to the post in the Listed Super Saturday Stakes (1400m), but recovered to secure a memorable victory at long odds in the featured Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) in May.

Leading online bookie Ladbrokes.com.au is currently offering the best odds on all black type races at Ascot this weekend, including the Kingston Town Classic!