Adam Blencowe has Smokin’ Joey on top of his 2015 P.B. Lawrence Stakes tips, but the ratings expert admits that there are a number of winning chances in the Group 2 event at Caulfield on Saturday.
Smokin’ Joey returned from a very brief stint in the spelling paddock when he recorded an impressive win in the Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on July 25 and Blencowe told RSN that he believes that Encosta De Lago gelding will be able to leapfrog off that race to produce his best form in the 2015 P.B. Lawrence Stakes.
“Smokin Joey is the fit horse on the scene and we probably know with him what we are going to get,” Blencowe said.
“He won the Bletchingly there and was probably a little below his best, but I think he is nailed on to come and run right to his best, which is good enough with where a Lawrence winner has been in recent years.
“He is the standard setter and a horse like Dibayani is good enough to beat him, but whether he is forward enough to do it here over 1400 metres is the next question.”
Blencowe believes that both Excess Knowledge and Mourinho have the talent required to win the P.B. Lawrence Stakes, but he feels that Hong Kong import Dibayani is easily the most interesting runner in the P.B. Lawrence Stakes field and could represent the main danger to Smokin’ Joey.
Dibayani has not recorded a race win since he took out the Listed King George V Cup (2213m) in Ireland in June of 2013, but he was placed behind the likes of Able Friend, Designs On Rome and Blazing Speed in Hong Kong.
Blencowe believes that at his best Dibayani is the class runner in the P.B. Lawrence Stakes, but he admits that there are some concerns about how he will fare over 1400 metres in his first race start for 10 months.
“I think that the big query runner is Dibayani,” Blencowe said.
“He comes up pretty short in the betting, I didn’t have him that short at all and he has to prove it at 1400 when his best form has been at a mile and 2000 metres, but he has run really well in the Hong Kong Mile and that is pretty smart form.
“In his recent jump out he looked fairly sharp and he still has plenty of upside.
“He hasn’t done a great deal of winning, but he has run into some pretty smart horses and he is the big x-factor horse.
“The market support early suggests that he can really run well here fresh.”
Smokin’ Joey is currently available at 2015 P.B. Lawrence Stakes odds of $3.50 with Ladbrokes and is a narrow favourite from Dibayani ($4.20), Excess Knowledge ($4.60), Mourinho ($6) and Petrology ($7.50).