Smoke Trail Left At Melton

05 July 2009
Smoken Up on his way to a 1:53.4 win in the Shire Of Melton Sprint

Smoken Up on his way to a 1:53.4 win in the Shire Of Melton Sprint

Smoken Up was the headline act of Sunday's grand opening of Tabcorp Park and he didn’t disappoint.

The Lance Justice-trained-and-driven star belied the chilly Melton conditions to score a stunning 1:53.4 win in a spine-tingling Shire Of Melton Sprint (1720m).
The feature of the time was a blistering 55.2-second last 800 metres. That was made up 27.7 and 27.5-second quarters, which followed opening sections of 28.8 and 30.2 seconds.
Justice said it was an honour that the six-year-old son of Tinted Cloud, who started a prohibitive $1.20 favourite, was able to justify the pre-race hype and give the opening day crowd something special to remember.
“It was important that we set a good mark in this race and I’m proud that he could run that time on opening day,” the local horseman said.
“It’s always hard trying to run quick time from in front, but I think that (record) will stand for a little while.”
But even though he set a fantastic time, the gelding didn’t have things his own way. Decorated Jasper ($7.90) served it right up to him in an enthralling final quarter and almost pulled off an upset in the $50,000 feature.
Despite sitting three-wide without cover from the 900m, the Paul Rowse-trained gelding loomed alongside Smoken Up upon straightening and it wasn’t until 30 metres from that his tough run took its toll.
He finished 1-1/2 metres from Smoken Up with Ti Vogliobene ($18) making the most of a cushy trip on the favourite’s back to claim third placing a further four metres away.
Justice paid tribute to Decorated Jasper after the race but never doubted his stable star would rack up win number 30 at his 58th start.
“To his credit, Decorated Jasper did a great job, but this guy might look like he’s under pressure but he just finds a way to win,” he said.