The latest sprint sensation from the west may have been unveiled on Wednesday, with three-year-old gelding Smoko producing a thrilling debut performance.
The Ross and Clint Price-trained galloper blitzed his rivals by four lengths in the Ozbet.com.au Handicap (1000m), clocking a slick time of 56.94 seconds at Belmont Park.
Leading from start to finish, Smoko’s time was just 0.8 seconds outside the track record set by Waratah’s Secret in 2010.
Clint Price described the emerging sprinter as a “natural” but said he will be patient with the obviously talented youngster.
“I think he’s one of those natural horses that just knows what to do,” Price told The West Australian.
“He’ll probably have his next start on a Saturday but we have no big plans for him…we always knew he had potential but we didn’t think he’d win that well.”
By Snitzel out of London Lights, Smoko was bought for $75,000 at the 2011 Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale.
Smoko won’t be lining up but stakes racing takes place in the nation’s west this Saturday with the Group 3 Belmont Sprint (1400m).
A capacity field of 16 horses will contest the $125,000 sprint, with the field headed by Roma Cup runner-up Ranger.
Ranger will be out to end an 18-month winning drought but showed plenty of promise to nearly upset Power Princess in the Roma Cup two weeks ago.
Also lining up in the Belmont Spring are Neville Parnham’s pair Playing God and God Has Spoken, Jim Taylor-trained gelding Waratah’s Secret and last-start runner-up Moonlight Bay.