Smokin’ Joey has recovered from minor injuries he sustained during his flight to Perth and will be fit to run in the Group 1 $1m Carlton Draught-Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot on Saturday.
Mornington trainer Wez Hunter took Smokin’ Joey to the beach to help sooth his legs after taking some skin off when the seven year old got fractious in the plane from Melbourne just prior to landing in Perth on Friday.
“He took a bit of skin off. It’s not what you want, but he’s okay. He went to the beach yesterday and all’s good,” Hunter told Racing Network on Sunday.
Even though Smokin’ Joey hasn’t been placed at his four runs this Spring Carnival, Hunter is keen to give him another chance in the Railway Stakes after finishing at the tail of the field as favourite last year.
“He warrants another shot at the race,” Hunter said.
Since last year’s trip to Perth Smokin’ Joey was able to record a Group 1 win in the $500,000 The Tapestry Wines Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville on May 10 coming from near the tail of the field on the home turn.
From four runs this preparation Smokin’ Joey hasn’t really threatened and was always well back when he resumed for an eighth in Group 2 $200,000 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on October 4 and followed that up with fifth in the Group 3 $150,000 Sportingbet Moonga Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on October 18.
At his next run the Encosta De Lago gelding made up some ground in the straight when two and half lengths seventh in the Group 3 $200,000 Yellowglen Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on November 1 before finishing seventh again in the Group 1 $1m Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington seven days later.
“I thought he was honest without being brilliant but he didn’t have much luck,” Hunter told Racing Victoria.
“In the autumn he was similarly around the mark without having much luck and we took him to Adelaide and he had the right run and won a Group 1 so I’m hoping that he can do the same again here.
“I just hope we can draw a nice gate and have a good run in the race around midfield.”