Smackdown Spot On for All Victorian Sprint Final

Mornington horseman Trent Pennuto cannot find a fault with in-form six-year-old Smackdown as the horse heads into the 2015 All Victorian Sprint Series Final at Flemington Racecourse this weekend.

Hard Romp

Hard Romp is the horse to beat in Saturday’s 2015 All Victorian Sprint Series Final according to the latest markets for the Flemington feature. Photo: Adrienne Bicknell.

One of the headline events on the nine-race Finals Day line-up, this year’s $150,000 Listed All Victorian Sprint Series Final (1200m) runs as Flemington Race 8 at 4:10pm (AEST) and features a final field of 13 hopefuls.

It’s a wide open market currently at on the showdown with six single figure hopes led by Ciaron Maher’s consistent Hard Spun gelding Hard Romp ($6.50) drawn a treat in gate two.

Smackdown didn’t have as much luck at the barrier draw and has the outside alley (13) to overcome this weekend with Jordan Mallyon down to ride the quirky galloper.

A six-year-old son of Towkay, Smackdown comes into the race on the back of two wins over 1100m at Geelong and 1200m at Swan Hill respectively, Mallyon aboard for the latest of those when beating General Truce by a nose on June 5 in the $100,000 Gold Topaz.

It has been over a month between runs then but Pennuto could not be happier with the condition of his runner who is back in black-type company for the first time since finishing dead last when 13th behind Flamberge as a 50/1 outsider in the Group 3 Theshark.Com.Au Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield last August.

“I couldn’t be happier with the horse because he’s had a terrific lead-up since Swan Hill,” Pennuto told Racenet.

“The last three weeks, I couldn’t fault him. It’s the best he’s been with me.”

Smackdown currently pays $14 in the All Victorian Sprint Series Final odds, and the key to his chances on the weekend is how he is ridden over the opening stages of the race according to Pennuto.

“He’s a funny horse to ride because you have just got to have him smothered up as long as possible,” Pennuto said.

“He’s just got to come out cold. That first furlong (200m) is vital, he’s just got to be smart and not ask the horse to do too much to get where he needs to be otherwise he can over-race.

“I don’t care where he goes – outside, inside or wherever, as long as he gets that cover.

“If you go too early, he half pulls up.

“He gets to the front and thinks he’s done his job.”

Other notable hopes in the All Victorian Sprint Series Final this year include the Danny O’Brien-trained Decircles, visiting Adelaide raider Nearest To Pin, John Sadler’s last start Takeover Target Tribute Handicap winner Lonrockstar and runner-up in that same heat Nadeem Lass who are all installed as equal $7.50 second favourites in the market.

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