Day At The Track

$100,000 South Australia Cup to Smoken Up

12:09 AM 16 Jan 2012 NZDT
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The biggest night of the year in South Australia - S.A. Cup night was held at Globe Derby Park Adelaide on Saturday January 14th, with Victorians taking the big three feature events on the harness racing program.

The $100,000 (Group 1) Sky Racing SA Cup for M0 or better class over 2645 metres saw champion 9-Y-0 Smoken Up capture his third victory in the classic event, having been successful in 2008 and 2011, while finishing a gigantic second to Mister Zion in 2010.

Trained at Melton by Lance Justice who watched the race from home recovering from severe injuries sustained in a race fall at Melton in December, Smoken Up as expected as a prohibitive $1.10 favourite, led throughout from gate two with stand in reinsman Greg Sugars in the sulky, to easily account for the local hope Ohoka Nevada which trailed from the pole using the sprint lane for second, with Heza Trick (three back the markers - four wide on straightening) a fast finishing third.

A gelded son of Tinted Cloud and Camlough, Smoken Up returned an unextended mile rate of 2-02.7 (last half mile 55.7 - quarter 27.7) which was well outside Courage Under Fire's race record of 1-56.9 set in 2001.

Dunnstown trainer/driver David Murphy landed his second S-A Derby, when Village Jasper/Eris colt The Night Pearl greeted the judge in the $30,000 (Group 1) event over 2230 metres sponsored by SEW-Eurodrive, much to the delight of Newcastle based owner Peter Simcoe.

Trapped three wide from gate four, The Night Pearl was sent forward to park outside the home town hero Fistfullofdollars (gate two), before being restrained to take a trail on another Victorian Top Tamba (gate five) after travelling a lap.

Becoming pocketed at the bell when Mark Dennis surged forward from last three wide, The Night Pearl momentarily appeared to be in trouble, however Mark Dennis stopped as quickly as he had moved up enabling The Night Pearl to ease three wide on the home turn and race away on straightening to score by 4.7 metres in advance of Western Rockstar off the back of Mark Dennis in the last lap, with Fistfullofdollars third. The mile rate 1-59.4 (half 57.7 - quarter 28.2).

Murphy had been victorious with Bazill in 2005.

The (Group 2) $25,000 Seelite Windows & Doors S-A Trotters Cup for TMO or better class (D-H) over 2645 metres went the way of 7-Y-0 Wind Cries Maori/Supreme Equity gelding Windinyasoup for Armstrong (Ararat) trainer Danny O'Brien and Great Western reinsman Grant Campbell.

Raced by Sharon O'Brien, with husband Danny and son Leroy silent owners (Leroy doing most of the work with the horse), Windinyasoup from inside the second line began safely under the walk in start procedure, settling mid-field in the moving line.

In an action packed event with plenty of action in the first lap, Windinyasoup was set alight mid-race to cross the leaders and open up a margin.

Although tackled strongly by the well supported Crescent Glory from the bell, Windinyasoup left his rivals standing approaching the final bend to obliterate the opposition in scoring by 27.6 metres over Lord Of The Gym from miles back, with Barneys Invasion third from midfield.

A winner of eight races with eight placings from 37 outings, Windinyasoup returned a mile rate of 2-06.3 (last half 60.4 - quarter 30.5.

The $100,000 (Group 1) Sky Racing SA Cup

The Night Pearl

The (Group 2) $25,000 Seelite Windows & Doors S-A Trotters Cup

Len BAKER

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