Barastoc Pacers Grand Circuit Series
Stories:   Pacers 2007/2008 Season
Leg 6:  Sky Channel SA Cup   2007/2008 Results   Points
            12/01/2008  Globe Derby, Adelaide, SA  2645m  Mobile Start  $100,000
  Grand Circuit Home Page

Victoria’s Smoken Up NZ in easily winning the Sky Channel South Australian Cup on Saturday night at Globe Derby became the ninth pacer to be guaranteed a start in a semi-final of the Watpac ID08 at Moonee Valley on February 23. 

The earlier inclusions were Blacks A Fake, Flashing Red (doubtful), Waipawa Lad NZ, Sting Lika Bee, Slipnslide, Robin Hood, Manwarra Goforgold and Safari.  There are three further races in coming weeks where the winner of each will also earn the right to contest an Inter semi-final at Moonee Valley. 

Trainer-driver Lance Justice explained after leading all the way with Smoken Up NZ how a good barrier draw helped him dramatically to win.  

 “Being untroubled to take up the lead allowed me to run the race on my terms out in front” he said, soon after out-sprinting Sequoiahs Spirit NZ and the Queenslander Slipnslide in the dash for the post. 

Slipnslide, released from quarantine at Geelong only a day earlier, lost no friends having started from the second row with Luke McCarthy well aware his two main rivals Smoken Up NZ (two) and Robin Hood (four) would be ahead of him early. 

With Justice allowed to back the speed right off up front, it was local reinsman Ryan Hryhorac having picked up the drive on Victorian Flaming Roadstar who made the first move, dashing around the field to lead the outside division, but not attempting to take on the leader. 

Realising the early tactics all favoured the heavily supported Smoken Up NZ, McCarthy moved his well-backed Slipnslide around to the ‘death’, though stopping short of signalling any intentions of him keen to pressure the leader. 


Smoken Up NZ

There were no other rivals prepared to over-work their horse to go up and eye-ball Justice driving the favourite, leading to one of the slowest half-miles you will see on this season’s Barastoc Grand Circuit Series. 

One pacer greatly disadvantaged by the slow speed was the third favourite Robin Hood (Gavin Lang) from Ballarat. It has clearly shown in the past how it races best when sitting off a fast speed and saved for a late run. 

Justice slipped the favourite a little more rein passing the 600m mark knowing that one or two behind him must have been ready then to have made moves. With the tempo of the race going up two gears, the others suddenly found themselves in the deep end trying to make up ground on the very fit Smoken Up NZ. 

Slipnslide battled on gamely after having covered extra ground when leading the outside line, with McCarthy being nosed out of second prize-money only in the final metres with Daryl Douglas poking through on the inside with Sequoiahs Spirit NZ to grab second. 

With the talented Queensland pacer only emerging from quarantine the previous day, McCarthy had chosen to fly his pacer to Adelaide, joining a plane in Melbourne that was flying other horses across to Perth. The cost of moving Slipnslide by plane and having it touch down in Adelaide cost him a little more than $5,000. 

Lance Justice may have been born in Victoria, but having spent his early years growing up and then racing at Globe Derby Park across the road from where his family lived, has long had South Australians claim him as their own. 

Since his career move to Melton where he is currently enjoying having the strongest stable in Victoria, he continues to enjoy returning to Adelaide and contesting the major events there. 

 “I actually expected more pressure during the race,” Justice said at the presentation. “No one attempted to take us on, and we simply were allowed to do our own thing out in front. 

 “It’s a real bonus knowing we go straight into a semi-final of the Watpac Inter Dominion in Melbourne, as it allows me to plan a program to have the horse spot on for that night,” he added. 

Since Smoken Up NZ has gone through the classes so quickly this season, Justice has been indicating how keen he is to race his horse in the Hankook Tyres Hunter Cup on 3 February. Being a handicap from a standing start, proven pacers from a stand will be well suited. 

The present No 1 rated pacer in Australia, Blacks A Fake, has shown a distinct dislike for standing start races. It too only came out of quarantine last Friday and is now stabled with Clinton Welsh at Melton. 

Next weekend the Barastoc Grand Circuit will have the spotlight on Perth with the Fremantle Cup. The main interest will be to see if the 4YO Lombo Pocket Watch can bounce back from its defeat there on Friday night in the WA Cup.  

It will be the following weekend when the big guns are to be involved in the biggest clash so far of the season when they meet for the first time in the PETstock Ballarat Cup on 26 January. This is the race harness racing fans have been waiting for. 

It would seem the move by Melbourne officials to use Geelong’s facilities as a temporary quarantine base for interstate horses has been a resounding success. 

Not only was the heavily-backed Slipnslide well forward in condition when flown to Adelaide, but the No 1 NSW pacer Divisive came out on Friday. Only a day later it won the Shepparton Gold Cup from a backmark of 20m. 

Now, fans are waiting to see Blacks A Fake and Be Good Johnny return to the racing scene in Victoria, with the former being prepped to try and win its third Inter Dominion in a row. 



All Time Pacing and Trotting Records pre-2001 please refer to the Australian Harness Racing Annual.

back to top