Smoken sizzles the live feed at Globe Derby

16 January 2012 | Aaron Bain
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Smoken Up claims his third SA Cup from four attempts with ease as a $1.05 favourite.

Smoken Up claims his third SA Cup from four attempts with ease as a $1.05 favourite. Photo by Arclight Photography

Smoken Up attracted a crowd of 5000 people, the largest since the 2007 Interdominion and although they had to wait an extra hour for the most anticipated race on the local racing calendar the $100,000 SKY Channel SA Pacing Cup due to power problems plagued Globe Derby Park, there was no fan disappointed when leaving the course. 

The crowd stood in awe of Australasia’s Best Pacer as he came onto the track for his warm up for the original scheduled start time of 8:52pm but when the power went out to feed sources to SKY Channel, TAB and the stewards towers the race had to be delayed an hour before all electricity was restored on the premises. The crowd remained patient to witness the ‘Black Caviar’ of the Harness Racing world and Greg Sugars add his name to the feature race honour roll in his birth town state.

Sugars was fortunate enough to land the drive on the undisputed king of the sport only 11 days prior to the Grand Circuit feature after trainer and regular driver Lance Justice was sidelined with a broken leg and ankle after a nasty race fall three weeks prior. Sugars led from start to finish over the 2645m event and never let the $1.05 favourite down in the blistering 55.7 second last half on the back of a leisurely 82.3 second lead time and a 62.6 first half.

Sugars nursed the favourite until straightening and then allowed Smoken Up or ‘Trigger’ as known around the stable to hit top gear and power home in 27.7 second last quarter.

The crowd somewhat waiting for the Sugars salute as he put his name on the honour roll alongside his father Ross Sugars back in 1981 aboard Murdock Miss seemed as if he was restricted by the power still in his hands as Smoken Up crossed the line ready to travel another lap at that speed.

Local star Ohoka Nevada (Mark Billinger) ran a solid second, following Smoken Up from start to finish after drawing the prime alley in gate one and got within 3m on the line while rising star Heza Trick (Daryl Douglas) flashed home late to finish third a further 3m away. 

Veteran Ti Vogliobene was courageous in defeat when making a three wide move a lap out and loomed up off the back straight to hold his own in the run home and hold onto fourth position beaten only 8m in the 55.7 last half.

Smoken Up made it three SA Cup scalps from four attempts putting him one win behind legendary pacer Gamalite who was the SA Cup King between 1982 and 1985. With his best racing still in front of him, Smoken Up heads towards another tough season on the Grand Circuit but will no doubt, Justice will have the 2013 SA Cup on his radar for the following season to equal the SA Cup record. 

Smoken Up has now had 104 career starts for 56 wins and 34 placings for a staggering and rapidly increasing stakemoney record of excess of $2.89 million. Closing in on the $3 million figure, Smoken Up heads towards the 2012 Interdominion in Western Australia while Justice is on the road to a speedy recovery to be able to be at the reins.