Day At The Track

Smoken Up made to work hard in his heat

10:28 AM 24 Feb 2012 NZDT
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Smoken Up and John Justice are too
Smoken Up and John Justice are too - strong winning tonight's 9th heat of the 2012 Inter Dominion
Samuel Hiodgson-Bertram photo

He was made to work but it was another tradesman-like performance from Victorian pacer Smoken Up in tonight's (Friday February 24) ninth heat of harness racing's 2012 Inter Dominion Pacing Championships at Gloucester Park in Perth. The race was worth $60,000.

It was the eventual runner-up Lombo Navigator (Matthew White) that gave the $1.10 favourite a real run for his money.

The Andrew De Campo trained son of Million To One cleared out to a big lead early in the 2506m mobile before John Justice slipped Smoken Up out of the one-one to go and steer him in the face with a couple of laps remaining.

Smoken Up used up a lot of petrol when he finally wrestled the lead at the end of the back-straight the second last time.

But we all know how tough the Lance Justice trained 9-year-old is. In fact probably the toughest pacer in Australasia and he proved that tonight by digging deep to hold out the trailing Lombo Navigator and Mysta Magical Mach (Morgan Woodley) by 1.5 metres and 3.8 metres respectively. David Hercules and Mark Reed were fourth.

Smoken Up's winning time of 3:00.7 was just outside the track record. His mile rate was 1:56 and the lead time: 62.9. The sectionals were: first quarter: 29.8; second quarter: 30.0; third quarter: 28.9; fourth quarter: 29.1.

Smoken Up, a Tinted Cloud gelding, has now sealed his spot in next Friday's $1 million Grand Final with three wins and the maximum 39 points from his three heats. Lombo Navigator 24 points and Mysta Magical Mach 23 will also be bordering on a Finals berth.

Nine will contest the Final, which will again be run over tonight's 2506m mobile distance.

By Duane RANGER (editor)

Smoken Up's third straight win at the 2012 Inter Dominion Pacing Championships in Perth:

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