Moriarty and Smokin’ Joey are set to clash again in the Group 1 $500,000 TAB Touch – Kingston Town Classic (1800m) at Ascot on Saturday week after finishing side by side in the Railway Stakes last Saturday.
Moriarty and Smokin’ Joey both came from the back of the field to finish third and fourth behind local mares Elite Belle and Balmont Girl in the Group 1 $1m Carlton Draught-Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot.
While the Chris Waller trained Moriarty had always been set for the Kingston Town Classic, Mornington trainer Wez Hunter has also decided to stay on for the last Group 1 race of the calendar year.
“Moriarty and Smokin’ Joey are the only (eastern) horses staying from Super Saturday,” Perth Racing’s interstate relations manager Grant Burns told The West Australian.
“Smokin’ Joey is entered for the Kingston Town but dropping back to 1400 could also be an option.”
The Kingston Town Classic looks the likely target for Smokin’ Joey but Hunter is also toying with running the seven year old in the shorter Group 3 $200,000 A.J. Scahill Stakes (1400m) on the same day.
Smokin’ Joey has been struggling to find form during the Spring Carnival and has not been in the winner’s stall since taking out the Group 1 $500,000 The Tapestry Wines Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville in May.
Last Saturday’s run was the best Smokin’ Joey has produced in his five runs this campaign but he always needs the pace on to produce his best.
Moriarty also has had a tough Spring Carnival campaign but did collect a win in the Group 3 $125,000 APN Outdoor Craven Plate (2000m) at Randwick on October 4 four runs back.
Since then the English import ran fourteenth in the Group 1 $3m Crown Golden Ale Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 18 followed by an eighth in the Group 1 $1m Longines Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on November 1 before heading to Perth.
Railway Stakes winner Elite Belle and Moriarty shared favouritism for the Kingston Town Classic with Ladbrokes.com.au at $6 each just ahead of Balmont Girl at $7 and three year old Disposition at $8 while Smokin’ Joey is marked as a $21 chance.