Hooked back in winner’s stall with 2017 Victoria Handicap victory

Six year old Hooked broke a long winning drought with a tough victory in the Group 3 $150,000 Victoria Handicap (1400m) at Caulfield today.

Hooked, above, was back in the winner's stall with victory in the Victoria Handicap at Caulfield. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Hooked, above, was back in the winner’s stall with victory in the Victoria Handicap at Caulfield. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Hooked has been out of the winner’s stall since taking out the Group 2 $175,000 Tattersalls Club Tramway Stakes (1400m) at Randwick during the 2015 Sydney Spring Carnival and trainer Robert Smerdon has finally found the key to Casino Prince stallion.

Hooked was having his third run for Smerdon and after finishing second at his first run for the stable in the Group 3 $150,000 Rewards Stakes (1400m) at March 4 funished tenth to Silent Sedition in the Group 1 $500,000 Keogh Homes William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on March 24.

 Luke Nolen had Hooked ($5) quickly out of the barrier and travelled nicely just behind the leader Charmed Harmony ($21) who fought on doggedly in the straight to finish second.

The Darren Weir trained Turbo Miss ($17) ran on strongly in the straight to fill third spot.

“He had the barrier and there was always going to be speed and pressure up front and he was the beneficiary of that,” Smerdon said.

“He got a really good cart along, good cover and was able to present at the exact right time.”

“It went exactly as it looked it might on paper, it doesn’t always play out but it did today.”

Semrdon will now head to Adelaide to chase another win with Hooked in the Group 3 $250,000 Robert & Fay Gerard R A Lee Stakes (1600m) at Morphettville on May 20.

The $3.70 favourite Hellova Street ws always back in the pack and never threatened before finishing eighth, three and three quarter lengths behind the winner.

2017 Victoria handicap Results

Finish No. Horse Trainer Jockey Margin Bar. Weight Starting Price
1 3 HOOKED Robert Smerdon Luke Nolen 2 57kg $5
2 6 CHARMED HARMONY John Sadler Ms Katelyn Mallyon 0.2L 3 56kg $21
3 12 TURBO MISS Darren Weir Dean Yendall 2.7L 6 54kg $17
4 9 ROCKET COMMANDER Matthew Dale Ben E Thompson (a) 2.8L 1 54kg $31
5 4 KENJORWOOD Darren Weir Brad Rawiller 3.3L 16 57kg $10
6 15 PETROLOGY David & B Hayes & T Dabernig Michael Dee 3.4L 12 54kg $18
7 11 DAN ZEPHYR Pat Carey Jack Martin (a) 3.6L 11 54kg $41
8 7 HELLOVA STREET Scott Brunton David Pires 3.7L 4 56kg $3.70F
9 16 RHYTHM TO SPARE (NZ) Michael Moroney Patrick Moloney 3.9L 5 54kg $41
10 8 ENTIRELY PLATINUM (NZ) Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes Dwayne Dunn 4L 8 54kg $21
11 14 ONPICALO Mick Price Beau Mertens (a) 4.3L 13 54kg $91
12 5 FAST ’N’ ROCKING David & B Hayes & T Dabernig Stephen Baster 5.05L 7 56.5kg $11
13 2 ARTICUS (FR) Darren Weir Ben Allen (a) 5.35L 14 57.5kg $13
14 17e GIVE US A GO Craig Anderson Jake Bayliss (a) 6.1L 9 54kg $51
15 10 MASTER RESET Matt Laurie Daniel Stackhouse 7.1L 15 54kg (cd 54.5kg) $16
16 1 AROD (IRE) Chris Waller Craig Newitt 19.1L 10 58kg $15

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