It’s been a long time between Black Type drinks for Smokin’ Joey (4g Encosta de Lago x Dalzing, by Blazing Sword), who won a stakes race on debut as a two year-old in May 2010, but has been winless in stakes company since then until today.
The Anthony Freedman trained Smokin’ Joey looked to show a glimmer of his true ability last start when winning a midweek event at Sandown last month and ran up to that form at Flemington on Saturday.
He settled back near to last early for Craig Newitt and then charged home to win the 1400 metre Listed VRC Super Saturday Stakes by a long neck over Pago Rock (4g Rock of Gibraltar x Dancing Pago, by Thunder Gulch).
“He’s been a frustrating horse for us and the punter and everyone,” Freedman said.
“But he might (have) turned the corner and we might have got him in a good frame of mind.
“He had to tough it out which sort of suggests he’s putting in now and wants to win.”
Retained to race by his breeders, Smokin’ Joey has won three races and run second four times from 18 starts earning just shy of $240,000 in prizemoney.
Smokin’ Joey is a full brother to multiple Group II winner Our Smokin Joe, who won 10 races and more than $1.6 million in prizemoney with multiple placings at Group I level.
He is one of five winners from the Blazing Sword mare Dalzing, who was retired from stud duty on 2009, Smokin’ Joey being her final foal.
Smokin’ Joey is one of seven Australian stakes-winners this season for Encosta de Lago, who has 47 yearlings catalogued for the 2012 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale.