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Smoken Up Is So Hot Right Now


Published: November 27, 2010 9:50 am ET

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He talked the talk, and he walked the walk. That was the story of Victorian trainer-driver Lance Justice and his star pacer Smoken Up in Saturday’s Gr.1 $500,000 SEW Eurodrive Miracle Mile at Menangle in Sydney, Australia.

Smoken Up sat without cover for the entire mile and outmuscled Blacks A Fake in a gripping finish to record an Australasian record time of 1.50.3, emerging big race player Villagem finished strongly for third.

For Justice, victory was sweet. Smoken Up has been so close yet so far away in many of Australian harness racing's biggest events over the past couple of seasons leaving many wondering if he was ever going to shake off the ‘bridesmaid’ tag.

All week long, Justice was talking tough tactics and predicted that his pacer would outstay his highly credentialed rivals. Smoken Up didn’t disappoint.

Queensland champion Blacks A Fake led from gate two whilst Smoken Up charged across and took up his position on the outside of the leader.

The first quarter was posted in 27 seconds. Soon after they settled, Luke McCarthy made an early move aboard Mr Feelgood and whistled up three wide whilst Blacks A Fake and Smoken Up both kicked up on his inside.

As the field passed the half in 56.2 seconds, a line of three had evolved whilst race favourite and defending champion Monkey King was pocketed in the one out-one back position.

With the third quarter posted in 27.2, the race was well and truly on with Blacks A Fake and Smoken Up locked in battle. Blacks A Fake and Smoken Up went stride for stride whilst Mr Feelgood tried to reach them wider.

At the finish, Smoken Up prevailed by a half head defeating Blacks A Fake. Race favourite Monkey King disappointed finishing a soundly beaten sixth.

"I’ve wanted this race for so long with Trigger, I knew he could win this race," said Justice. "The satisfaction is unbelievable."

Justice has now won three Miracle Miles after previous victories with Sokyola in 2003/04. He believes the spacious Menangle track plays to the advantage of Smoken Up.

"He loves Menangle, he just loves the big sweeping turns at this place,” stated Justice. "I don’t think he could win this race if it was staged at Harold Park, this is the best track in Australia."

Smoken Up will now return to Victoria to contest the Victoria Cup on December 18.

To view the replay of the Miracle Mile, click here.

(Harness Racing Australia)

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