Smoken Strolls Home In SA Cup

14 January 2012 | Chris Barsby
Stand In:  Star reinsman Greg Sugars took the winning drive aboard Smoken Up in the SA Cup

Stand In: Star reinsman Greg Sugars took the winning drive aboard Smoken Up in the SA Cup Photo by Arclight Photography

Champion pacer Smoken Up had all the power when he scored an expected victory in the Gr.1 $100,000 SKY Racing SA Cup at Globe Derby tonight (Saturday).

Starting the shortest priced favourite in the races history, Smoken Up led throughout for stand-in driver Greg Sugars defeating Ohoka Nevada and Heza Trick in a moderate time of 2;02.1 for the 2645m feature.

Despite the race being delayed because of a power failure, the huge crowd enjoyed the spectacle of Smoken Up sizzling around the half mile circuit to claim his third Cup after winning previously in 2008 and 2011, while finishing second behind Mister Zion in 2010.

The victory for Sugars continues his meteoric rise at the elite level and also provided his family with it's second victory in the great race after Ross, Greg's father scored back in 1981 aboard Murdock Miss.

Smoken Up strolled straight to the front with Franco Ambassador matching him in the early stages while Ohoka Nevada sat contently on the inside with Heza Trick electing to sit three back against the marker line.

Smoken Up ambled through the lead time of 82.3 seconds.

The pace remained steady as Sugars dictated terms up front posting sectionals of 31.4 and 31.2 seconds for the first half of the last mile.

Veteran Ti Vogliobene made a three wide move with a lap left to run but Smoken Up travelled strongly, Franco Ambassador began to struggle with the third quarter clocked in 28 seconds.

Approaching the home turn, Smoken Up led Ti Vogliobene while Ohoka Nevada angled for an inside run with Heza Trick coming to the outside with his stablemate Jukebox Music who travelled in the one out, one back position throughout.

In the straight, Sugars allowed Smoken Up to hit top gear and he comfortable held Ohoka Nevada by 2.9 metres with a further 3 metres away to Heza Trick who finished stoutly wider on the track.

Smoken Up ran the final quarter in 27.7 seconds.

“It was a great honour and privilege to drive a horse of this quality.” Sugars stated.

Smoken Up is now one win behind legendary pacer Gammalite who 'owned' the Cup between 1982 and 1985.

“He never gave me any cause for concern, he travelled well within himself and finished off in a neat half.

“He's such a powerful animal and he really responded when I went for him approaching the final turn, he did that very easily at the finish.

“I hope that is the right medicine for Lance, I'm sure that will give him a good boost.”

Smoken Up has now won 56 of his 104 starts with his prizemoney now in excess of $2.89 million.