Smoken Salutes Again

27 November 2011 | Chris Barsby
Back to Back; Smoken Up landed himself another Miracle Mile victory courtesy of his 1;51.8 display

Back to Back; Smoken Up landed himself another Miracle Mile victory courtesy of his 1;51.8 display

The love affair continues.

Champion Victorian pacer Smoken Up proved yet again he is the most dominant pacer in Australasian speed racing after claiming back to back victories in tonight's Gr.1 $500,000 SEW Eurodrive Miracle Mile at TABCORP Park, Menangle.

Smoken Up scored officially by 1.1m defeating gallant veteran Karloo Mick while the West Australian trained Im Themightyquinn finished a further 1.5m away in third in a time of 1;51.8, well outside of his own record of 1;48.5 he set back in April this year.

“I just love him, he's just a champion, what more can I say about him.” beamed trainer/driver Lance Justice immediately after the event.

Smoken Up becomes the seventh dual Miracle Mile since it's inception back in 1967.

The victory leaves Justice just one win shy of legendary New Zealand conditioner Barry Purdon who has prepared five previous Miracle Mile champions.

Justice trained Sokyola to back to back victories in 2003/04.

Starting as warm favourite, Smoken Up was crossed in the early stages by Im Themightyquinn before Justice made his re-take move and took full control before the end of the first quarter which was clocked in 26.7 seconds.

Entering the back straight, Justice was able to pinch a breather with the second quarter timed in 29.9 seconds, the moves quickly followed with Mr Feelgood hooking out three-wide while Franco Jamar followed him forward despite making an early gate break at the start.

Justice seemed content with Smoken Up heading by the three quarter marker in 27.6 seconds, Franco Jamar applied strong pressure and even headed Smoken Up before the final turn but his early break proved costly as he was niggled at by trainer/driver Luke McCarthy.

Upon straightening, Smoken Up quickly went clear of Franco Jamar who dropped off sharply while Im Themightyquinn and Mr Feelgood jostled for racing room wider on the track leaving Karloo Mick to shoot the gap behind Smoken Up after racing three back on the marker pegs.

Smoken Up ($2) lasted from Karloo Mick ($34) and Im Themightyquinn ($3.40) with the final quarter posted in 27.6 seconds.

“I knew Karloo Mick was getting close but once Smoken Up could see him, he got going again and was actually pulling away again on the line.

“I wanted to make Im Themightyquinn work off the gate because I didn't want him having a cold sit behind me.”

Smoken Up is yet to miss a place on the spacious Menangle track in nine starts and boasts six victories (all over the 1609m) which now includes two Miracle Miles and three Len Smith Miles.

“The Miracle Mile is the Miracle Mile, it's fantastic and it's the best race I've been involved in and I just love being a part of the race.

“It's a hard race to get into and it's a hard race to win, this is just fantastic.

“I might get John (Dumesny – NSWHRC CEO) to name the straight after him or something like that, he loves this place.”

The victory of Smoken Up was his 55th from 102 lifetime starts while he has managed 34 further minor placings with earnings approaching $3 million.

Smoken Up has now competed in every leg of the 2011/12 Grand Circuit season to date and clearly sits at the top of the leaderboard with 14 points, 9 points clear of nearest rivals Mr Feelgood and Terror To Love.