Smokin’ Joey failed to fire in the Group 2 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m), but trainer Wez Hunter is confident that his star galloper can return to his best form in the 2015 Memsie Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday.
Smokin’ Joey started the P.B. Lawrence Stakes as favourite following his impressive victory in the Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on July 25, but he was never able to get into the race and he finished at the tail of the field.
A post-race endoscopy found that Smokin’ Joey had suffered a degree of exercise induced pulmonary haemorrhage, but Hunter told Racing Ahead that the eight-year-old had taken no long-term harm from the race and is in great condition ahead of the 2015 Memsie Stakes this weekend.
“He has come through it really well,” Hunter said.
“He worked on Tuesday morning and he had a scope after that and it was all clear.
“Because he performed poorly the vet wanted to have a little look at him and there was a little bleed there.
“Obviously that is why he went so poorly, but we treated him after the run, gave him a light week down at the beach and he has bounced back well.
“He is bright as a button and I am sure that he will turn up this week.”
There does not look to be a great deal of early speed in the 2015 Memsie Stakes and Hunter revealed that he has no idea what horse will take up the running in the early stages of the race, but he said that he will instruct jockey Chris Parnham to settle Smokin’ Joey where he is comfortable to give him the opportunity to work home strongly down the outside – just like he did in the Bletchingly Stakes.
“It is a big field, but what is going to lead,” Hunter asked.
“It is a bit tricky, but we will just ride him the way that we normally do and give him plenty of room.
“From that gate it allows Chris to ride him how he finds him and make sure he gets out with plenty of time.”
Smokin’ Joey is currently available at 2015 Memsie Stakes odds of $16 with Ladbrokes, while Boban ($5) is a clear favourite from Volkstok’n’barrell ($8), Hi World ($9), Weary ($9), Entirely Platinum ($10), Rising Romance ($11), Stratum Star ($11), Charmed Harmony ($14) and Happy Trails ($14).