Veteran gelding Smokin’ Joey has returned to the winner’s circle in impressive fashion over the weekend; displaying a keen turn of foot in the final straight to comfortably take out the Listed Eye Liner Stakes (1350m) at Ipswich.
Smokin’ Joey was charged with carrying a race-high 59.5kgs in the Eye Liner Stakes but made the best of the situation when finding a good racing position early from barrier 7.
Finding a good rhythm and experiencing a relatively carefree run on the heels of the Eye Liner Stakes’ leaders, the son of Encosta De Lago steadily wound-up before charging forward; far-too classy for Atherton-based sprinter Daph ‘N’ Alf and talented three-year-old Ulmann in posting his eighth career victory.
Trainer Wez Hunter was pleased with Smokin’ Joey’s performance for success in the 2015 Eye Liner Stakes and revealed the gelding will now return to the paddock ahead of a 2015 Spring Carnival campaign geared towards the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m).
“Smokin’ Joey has been wonderful for me. I only had four horses when he came into the stable and now I have 30,” Hunter said after the race.
“He has helped put me on the map. But he can be a hard horse to ride as he has to get out and roll at the end of races. Damian rode him just like that.
“He is far from finished and he has paid his way up here. There is no reason he shouldn’t be a force in the spring.”
Veteran hoop Damian Browne completed an Ipswich card treble in partnering Smokin’ Joey to success in the 2015 Eye Liner Stakes and was thrilled to deliver Hunter a black type win.
“I might give it another three years break and come back for another treble,” Browne said.
“I usually like just riding in Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast but it is great to come here on a big day and ride a treble.”
A Group 1 winner having taken out the 2014 edition of The Goodwood (1200m), Smokin’ Joey has twice produced competitive performances in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m); namely in 2013 when finishing an agonizingly-close second to champion miler Boban.
Smokin’ Joey jumped favourite in the 2015 Eye Liner Stakes however punters who backed the veteran with leading online bookie Ladbrokes.com.au took advantage of generous $4.60 odds!
2015 Eye Liner Stakes Results
|1||1||SMOKIN’ JOEY||Wez Hunter||Damian Browne||–||7||59.5kg||$4.60F|
|2||8||DAPH ’N’ ALF||Greg Wehlow||Matthew McGuren (a)||0.3L||5||54kg||$9|
|3||11||ULMANN||Peter G Moody||Michael Cahill||0.4L||6||54kg||$4.80|
|4||2||RIVA DE LAGO||Robert Heathcote||Jim Byrne||1.7L||9||57kg||$5.50|
|5||4||PILLAR OF CREATION||Tony Sears||Luke Tarrant (a)||2L||2||54kg||$9|
|6||10||SOROS||Kelly Schweida||Glen Colless||3.3L||10||54kg||$26|
|7||9||BLACK CASH||Kelly Doughty||Ryan Wiggins||3.8L||1||54kg||$31|
|8||5||TOKAMAK||Barry Lockwood||Paul Hammersley||4.3L||3||54kg||$31|
|9||7||NITE ROCKER||Lloyd Kennewell||Ric McMahon||4.5L||4||54kg||$5|
|10||3||NEO (NZ)||Stuart Kendrick||Bobby El-Issa||4.9L||8||55kg||$10|