Backmarker Smokin’ Joey will be ridden extra cold at Ascot on Saturday in a bid to help him run out the 1800m of the Group 1 $500,000 TAB Touch – Kingston Town Classic.
Smokin’ Joey’s normal pattern of racing is to get back in the field and make a late surge but trainer Wez Hunter will be issuing instructions for his jockey Ben Melham to hold up the seven year old longer than usual.
“We usually get out and get rolling on him at the 600 (metres), but we will be sitting until the 400 (metres) this week,” Hunter told Racing Network.
“We’ll switch him off early and give him every chance to run the 1800 metres.”
“We just want to try to get him to run it out. He’s fit, he’s well. I think if he’s going to run it out he will on a nice firm track here on Saturday.”
Smokin’ Joey came from back in the field to be beaten less than a length when fourth behind local mares Elite Belle and Balmont Girl and the Chris Waller trained Moriarty.
While Smokin’ Joey will be virtually facing off against the same field again on Saturday with the inclusion of the three year olds Rommel and Disposition, Hunter feels that Moriarty is the one to beat.
“Moriarty is obviously the one to beat, but I think my horse will run very well,” Hunter said.
Hunter will give Smokin’ Joey another solid hit out on Tuesday morning after the seven year old pleased him with his work on Saturday morning.
“He had a gallop on the grass here on Saturday and worked well and he’ll do the same tomorrow,” Hunter said.
The Railway Stakes run last Saturday week was the best Smokin’ Joey has produced in his five runs this campaign after struggling to find form from four runs during the Melbourne Spring Carnival and has not been in the winner’s stall since taking out the Group 1 $500,000 The Tapestry Wines Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville in May.
Moriarty currently heads the market order at $4.60 for the Kingston Town Classic at Ladbrokes.com.au ahead of Group 1 Railway Stakes winner Elite Belle at $5 and Balmont Girl at $7.
The Grant Williams trained three year old Disposition is next in the betting at $7.50 with the Gai Waterhouse trained Pheidon at $9 and W.A. Guineas winner Rommel at $10 while Smokin’ Joey is marked as a $17 chance.
The final field of sixteen plus four emergencies for the weight for age Kingston Town Classic – 1. Mr Moet, 2. Moriarty, 3. Smokin’ Joey, 4. Operational, 5. Chester Road, 6. Rebel Son, 7. Bass Strait, 8. Ihtsahymn, 9. Respondent, 10. Pheidon, 11. Elite Belle, 12. Pop Culture, 13. Balmont Girl, 14. Fuchsia Bandana, 15. Rommel, 16. Disposition, 17. Strike The Stars (1E), 18. Express Service (2E), 19. Red Blast (3E), 20. Real Love (4E).