Seven-year-old Smokin’ Joey is set to emulate his 2013 campaign by travelling to Perth for the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) straight after running in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m).
Last year the gelding finished runner-up in the Emirates before finishing last in the Railway. Trainer Wez Hunter is hoping for an opposite result this year after Smokin’ Joey finished seventh in the 2014 Emirates Stakes at Flemington on Saturday.
Despite finishing midfield, Hunter was happy with the run considering he got trapped wide without cover throughout the race. As a result, he has decided to press on to the 2014 Railway Stakes.
“I thought he was honest without being brilliant but he didn’t have much luck,” Hunter told Racing Victoria.
“He ate up last night (Saturday) and he’s pulled up really well. He went to the beach this morning (Sunday) and he’s good.”
Hunter also noted that the addition of cult hero and Tasmanian galloper The Cleaner, who finished third in the Emirates Stakes, would help Smokin’ Joey’s chances in the Railway Stakes, not hinder them.
“Having The Cleaner in this year’s race we’ll definitely help to inject a bit of speed but I just hope we can draw a nice gate and have a good run in the race around midfield,” he said.
“In the autumn he was similarly around the mark without having much luck and we took him to Adelaide and he had the right run and won a Group 1 (The Goodwood) so I’m hoping that he can do the same again here.”
Smokin’ Joey is a $17 shot in the Railway Stakes betting market at Ladbrokes.com.au. The gelding is set to fly out to Perth on Friday, alongside The Cleaner (who is $5.50 favourite for the race) and Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) hopefuls Moment Of Change, Bel Sprinter, and Angelic Light.
Smokin’ Joey’s stable mate Bel Thor will run in this Saturday’s Group 3 Eclipse Stakes (1800m) at Sandown, the final leg of the spring carnival, after finishing fifth in the James Boag’s Premium Stakes (1800m) on Melbourne Cup Day.
“He drew wide and just had to give them too big of a start at Flemington on Cup Day,” Hunter said.
“Tommy Berry said if he drew a gate then he could have won.
“Tommy unfortunately can’t ride him because he’s riding in Sydney so Jamie Mott is booked to ride him.”
Open your online betting account at Ladbrokes.com.au today to start betting on the first leg of the Perth Summer Racing Carnival.