Rank outsider Smokin’ Joey has produced the day’s biggest upset at Morphettville Racecourse this afternoon, displaying an incredible turn of foot to win the featured Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) from 2013 champion Platelet and Riziz.
Jumping from the gates only fairly, the Encosta De Lago gelding was forced to settle well back in the field; 10 lengths off the tempo of early leaders Sistine Demon, Classy Jack and Conservatorium, who set a noticeably fast pace.
Rounding the bend wide but in clear running space, Smokin’ Joey slowly spooled up, running on the down the outside of the fanning pack and poking half-a-length clear upon finding the line.
A standout performer over the 2013 spring, Smokin’ Joey was unlucky when blocked for a run and twelfth in the Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) first-up on October 5th, but more than stamped his claims as one to watch when charging home to win the Group 3 TAB.com.au Stakes (1400m) and finishing a close second behind talented miler Boban in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m).
Unable to secure much of a competitive run of form over four races prior to The Goodwood, Smokin’ Joey secured a sixth career win in his 38th career start this afternoon, which has also included seven minor placings.
Appearing to have successfully defended his 2013 Goodwood title when breaking from the pack with 200 metres to travel, Platelet was gallant in finishing second in this afternoon’s feature race.
Allocated the wide and awkward barrier 17, Platelet broke from the gates well and found ideal position on the heels of the early leaders, and was simply beaten by a red-hot runner.
Offering punters exceptional value in $26 for a win, or $7.30 for a place, Riziz clung to the coat tail of Smokin’ Joey in the 2014 Goodwood, rewarded with a hard-fought Group 1 third placing for his efforts.
Returning to the track in career best form this season, the Zariz gelding won the Adelaide Galvanising Handicap (1200m) ahead of a talented field first-up before repeating the dose in the Listed Matrice Stakes (1200m) in his only other start prior to The Goodwood.