The 2013 Railway Stakes odds of Smokin’ Joey have shortened significantly in the past 24 hours; with the Emirates Stakes runner-up now available at a price of $4.20.
Smokin’ Joey was available at odds of $8.50 when 2013 Railway Stakes betting markets first opened just over a week ago and the son of Encosta De Lago has easily been the best runner in the field for the Group 1 event that will be run at Ascot on Saturday.
The six-year-old has thrived since joining the stable of rising trainer Wez Hunter after he finished at the tail of the field in the Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m), winning the Tab.Com.Au Stakes (1400m) before finishing second in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m), and is now the clear favourite for the $1 million race.
Before joining the stable of Hunter, Smokin’ Joey had not recorded a race win his impressive victory in the Group 3 Zaidee’s Rainbow Victoria Handicap (1400m) during the 2012 Melbourne Festival Of Racing and did not finish in the placings in any of his five race starts during the 2012 Spring Racing Carnival; with his fourth place finish behind Sertorius in the Sale Cup (1600m) his best finish.
The resurgence of Smokin’ Joey has been one of the stories of the spring but Hunter, who has only five horses in work, has managed to maintain his composure throughout.
Hunter told Racing Ahead this morning that he hasn’t started feeling the nerves in the lead-up to the Group 1 event this weekend and said that he has been busy putting the finishing touches on his star galloper; with the six-year-old set to take part in his final piece of trackwork tomorrow.
“I am as good as gold,” Hunter said.
“He ran in the Emirates and we just spent the whole week down at the beach and he had a grass gallop at Mornington on the Saturday.
“Jason (Benbow) came and rode him and his work was really good.
“He had the flight over and we just backed off him and let him settle in.
“We are going to track at Lark Hill tomorrow and he will have a little look around but nothing serious.”
Smokin’ Joey remains a clear favourite in Railway Stakes betting markets, at odds of $4.20, from Longport ($6.50), Plucky Belle ($8.50) and Fire Up Fifi ($9), while there has been specking for locally-trained Ranger at the lengthy Railway Stakes odds of $21.