Veteran gelding Smokin’ Joey has produced an exceptional turn of foot in the final straight at Caulfield this afternoon to return to the winner’s circle in the Group 3 Carlyon Cup (1600m).
Jumping from the gates well, Smokin’ Joey settled towards the rear of the field of eleven, settling into a good rhythm and allowing early leaders Backstedt, Amorino and Jacquinot Bay to set a fair tempo over the back straight.
Pushing forward rounding onto the final bend, the Encosta De Lago gelding pushed eight wide and steadily spooled up before charging forward with 200m to run; swallowing up his rivals and hitting the line a nose ahead of Jacquinot Bay in a photo finish; Backstedt boxing on for third.
Trainer Wez Hunter was thrilled with Smokin’ Joey’s success in the 2015 Carlyon Cup, believing the always-competitive gelding is more than deserving of a return to the podium.
“I think he really deserves this, his last probably half a dozen runs have been really good,”
“If he hadn’t have won today I would have been really disappointed.
“He lives out in the paddock, he goes down to the beach and he loves the routine and the lifestyle.
“We’ll just see how he comes through it and we’ll go from there.”
Young West Australian jockey Chris Parnham secured his maiden Melbourne black type victory on Smokin’ Joey in the 2015 Carlyon Cup and was quick to praise the efforts of his classy partner for the success.
“I wasn’t sure if we’d got there or not but a big thrill to win a Group race here in Melbourne,” Parnham said.
“I sort of had to follow Damien Oliver on Big Memory into it and I had to sort of make my own run before the corner.
“He wanted to lay out a little in the straight, but he was too good for them.
“On Tuesday morning I said to Wez he’ll be hard to beat on Saturday and he said the same, he’s done well throughout the week.”
Smokin’ Joey’s win this afternoon registered as his first since taking out the Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) in similar fashion in May last year.