Smokin’ Joey has been included in the 2015 Eye Liner Stakes nominations and is a chance of contesting the Listed event at Ipswich on Saturday.
Smokin’ Joey has raced at group level throughout his summer campaign, but he could drop back in class for the Eye Liner Stakes after he finished a credible eighth behind Srikandi in the Stradbroke Handicap at Doomben on Saturday.
The Encosta De Lago gelding started his autumn campaign with a credible fourth behind Mourinho in the Group 2 Australia Stakes before she returned to wining form with a fast finishing effort in the Group 3 Carlyon Cup at Caulfield on February 8.
Smokin’ Joey was given another opportunity at Group 1 level in the Group 1 Futurity Stakes at Caulfield on February 28 and he was only narrowly denied by talented mare Suavito before he produced another credible performance when fourth in the Group 2 Blamey Stakes at Flemington on March 14.
Wez Hunter elected to send Smokin’ Joey back to Adelaide for The Goodwood to defend his title, but he was unable to get into the race and finished 14th in his title defense before he produced an improved effort in the Stradbroke Handicap.
Another Group 1 winner that is a chance contesting the Eye Liner Stakes is Sacred Star, who has performed well without winning in two race starts at Group 1 level this preparation.
Sacred Star stamped himself as the best sprinter in New Zealand with back to back wins in The Telegraph and the NRM Sprint, but missed the BTC Cup after he was found lane just before the race.
The Flying Spur gelding returned to racing with a fifth place finish behind Boban in the Doomben 10,000 on May 23 and he ran well without ever looking like a winning chance in the Stradbroke Handicap.
Smokin’ Joey and Sacred Star were two of 16 horses that were included in the Eye Liner Stakes nominations that were released yesterday and last start winners Daph ‘N’ Alf and Riva De Lago are both a chance of contesting the race.
Daph ‘N’ Alf produced a solid effort in the Sunshine Coast and returned to winning form at Mackay on May 23, while Riva De Lago recorded his first race win in 18 months when he resumed with a victory in the Glasshouse Handicap at the Sunshine Coast on May 16.
Other notable horses in the Eye Liner Stakes nominations include Black Cash, Fare Well, Gundy Spirit, Jazz Song, Nite Rocker and Soros.