Smoken Slams Rivals

08 January 2011 | Chris Barsby

Millionaire pacer Smoken Up produced a stunning performance to claim tonight's Gr.1 $100,000 Sky Racing SA Cup at Globe Derby Park.

The 2008 SA Cup winner started as a pronounced favourite despite a second-row draw yet proved far too strong for Standelle and Ohoka Nevada in the 2645m event.

The Lance Justice trained and driven pacer has now claimed three Barastoc Grand Circuit features with two of those victories coming this season including the Miracle Mile at TABCORP Park, Menangle.

As expected, the Victorian trained Standelle was able to hold up from his inside draw whilst Vegas Bound and Renaissance Man jostled for forward positions.

The lead time was covered in 77.1 seconds.

Justice wasted little time early and sent the favourite forward three wide but as he moved up to the leaders, Renaissance Man became fired up and forced Smoken Up to cover extra ground.

The speed was brutal with the first quarter of the last mile posted in 29.3 seconds.

The hard pulling Renaissance Man trapped Smoken Up three wide for the first 1200m before eventually running to the front at the 1400m marker.

The second quarter was covered in 30.9 seconds.

As they entered the back straight, Smoken Up travelled smoothly whilst Renaissance Man gave ground quickly after a torrid run without cover.

Smoken Up raced off the backstraight in 29.8 seconds with Standelle and Ohoka Nevada both chasing strongly.

At the finish, Smoken Up scored a thoroughly deserved victory defeating Standelle by 2.7 metres with Ohoka Nevada a further long neck away third.

The final quarter was a brilliant 27.2 seconds.

The mile rate was 1.58.2, the time was 1.3 seconds outside of the track record which is held by Courage Under Fire when he proved successful back in 2001.

“This is just as good as winning the Miracle Mile, I love coming back home to Adelaide and Trigger was just unbelievable tonight.” A naturally delighted Justice declared.

Smoken Up encountered a horrid trip last year when falling short behind Mister Zion and Justice was concerned when he posted deep early in the event.

“I could see Kate was having trouble restraining Renaissance Man but I was committed to go forward and I just kept pushing forward,”

“Once I found the front, he travelled so well and I was really happy with the way he scooted up the home straight.”

Connections will now return to Victoria and concentrate on the up-coming Nights Of Glory carnival.

As a result of tonight's success, Smoken Up has now shot to the top of the Barastoc Grand Circuit Leaderboard with 13 points.

Smoken Up is now 3 points clear of Mr Feelgood and Monkey King who both have 10 points.

For Justice, it was his third SA Cup victory after scoring with Whirley Dream back in 1989 whilst Smoken Up has claimed the 2008 and 2011 versions.