Day At The Track

Countdown to retirement

10:28 AM 06 Sep 2014 NZST
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Smoken Up enjoys a quiet breakfast to kick start his retirement day

How does a champion prepare for his last start as a harness racing superstar?

With that question in mind, multiple premiership winning horseman Lance Justice will keep harnesslink.com readers informed with exclusive updates throughout the day as Smoken Up is readied for his farewell appearance at Tabcorp Park Melton tonight.

After 141 starts together, netting 72 victories, 48 placings and a bankroll of $3,588,949, Justice will head to the track as a competitor for the last time with mate Trigger as the curtain comes down on Smoken Up’s illustrious career.

The gelding’s highlights include 13 Group Ones across Australasia, with his ‘CV’ boasting two Miracle Miles, four South Australia Cups, four Len Smith Miles and the Victoria Cup, with his best time of 1:48.5 coming at Tabcorp Park Menangle on April 30, 2011.

Smoken Up’s 1:48.5 success saw the son of Tinted Cloud become the first standardbred to better 1:50 in the Southern Hemisphere.

Justice is hoping to add another win to the tally with a farewell victory in the Casey Classic.

“If he wins, he wins and if he doesn’t it’s not the end of the world,” Justice declared. “We’ve been fortunate to have won 72 races with him, so one more will only be some sweet, sweet icing on the cake.”

As for Smoken Up’s retirement routine, Justice admits the two ‘old timers’ have adopted a quiet approach to the day – including a sleep in!

“Breakfast is normally around 6:30am, but it’s Saturday, and a special one at that, so we’ve had a sleep in,” Justice said.

“Got up and feed Trigger about 7:30 and I’m positive he enjoyed the extra hour off as much as I did!

“Now we will just take it nice an easy for a few hours and enjoy the quiet sunny morning.”

  • PAUL COURTS

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