Ballarat trots: champion miler Smoken Up can rewrite BDTC record books 

SMOKEN Up, one of the fastest pacers in Australian harness racing history, can rewrite the Ballarat and District Trotting Club record books on Thursday night.

Smoken Up is the headline act in the $30,000 Laser Electrical Lightning Mile at Bray Raceway.

While he is in the twilight of his career, the 11-year-old only three starts ago ran a sensational 1:49.9 in the group 1 Cordina Sprint at Menangle.

That earned him a start in his fourth Miracle Mile – a race he has won twice in an illustrious career which features 69 victories for $3.4m in earnings.

Smoken Up is the king of the mile, with 13 wins over the trip with a best time of 1:48.5.

However, he should not get everything his own way after drawing second from the outside, in an event which will have all eight runners starting on the front row.

Fellow Miracle Mile runner Restrepo, last season’s Lightning Mile winner Blucolla Tigerpie and reigning Ballarat Pacing Cup and AG Hunter Cup champion Mah Sish on his inside.

The second running of the 1609m dash is one of the best open class fields outside the Ballarat Pacing Cup assembled in Ballarat.

By drawing wide, Smoken Up is almost certain to ensure the pace is on from the outset.

Melton trainer-driver Lance Justice has always been aggressive on his stable champion.

Smoken Up led from wide in his memorable 1:49.9 performance at Menangle on November 23 and did what he likes best – running

26.0, 29.3, 28.0 and 26.6 400m sectionals.

He also led in the Miracle Mile before fading for fifth behind Beautide.

His latest run, when 11th in the Victoria Cup, can be discounted.

Justice hustled the entire forward, but was caught outside the leader.

Justice is sure to use Smoken Up’s early speed tonight, with the question from there being what tactics Gavin Lang applied on the Emma Stewart-trained Restrepo from the pole.

Restrepo has had a super campaign – showing his staying prowess to win the Nyah Pacing Cup and finish second in the Kilmore Pacing Cup before taking out the Cordina Sprint in 1:54.5 on a wet track and finishing sixth in the Miracle Mile.

The five-year-old is coming off a more than creditable fifth in the Victoria Cup.

Restrepo has shown he races best when given a sit, but he will not want to find himself tucked away too far on the pegs.

Blucolla Tigerpie won the first edition of the Lightning Mile in March this year at the first race meeting on the newly reconstructed circuit in 1:55.6.

The track is much faster now and the class of the line-up indicates two $10,000 speed bonuses being offered by the BDTC could easily be claimed.

The club will pay out $10,000 to the winner if Saab Quality’s track race record mile rate of 1:53.7 is broken and another $10,000 if Smoken Up’s Victorian race record mile rate of 1:51.1 is bettered.

LIGHTNING MILE SPEED PROFILE

1-RESTREPO

Trainer: Emma Stewart (Smythes Creek)

Driver: Gavin Lang

Best winning mile rate: 1:52.4

1609m career record:

4 starts 2-0-1

2-NATIONAL SERVICE

Trainer: Grant Campbell (Great Western)

Driver: Grant Campbell

Best winning mile rate: 1:55.5

1609m career record:

1 start 1-0-0

3-IM BARNEY RUBBLE

Trainer: Lance Justice (Melton)

Driver:

Best winning mile rate: 1:54.7

1609m career record:

1 start 1-0-0

4-YOURANAUT (emerg) SCRATCHED

5-BLUCOLLA TIGERPIE

Trainer: Michael Stanley (Sebastopol)

Driver: Michael Stanley

Best winning mile rate: 1:53.8

1609m career record:

6 starts 3-0-0

6-SAVESOMTIMETODREAM

Trainer: Paul Rowse (Ross Creek)

Driver: Jodi Quinlan

Best winning mile rate: 1:55.8

1609m career record:

1 start 0-1-0

7-MAH SISH

Trainer: Tim Butt (Christchurch, NZ)

Driver: John Caldow

Best winning mile rate: 1:55.5

1609m career record:

3 starts 0-0-0

8-SMOKEN UP

Trainer: Lance Justice (Melton)

Driver: Lance Justice

Best winning mile rate: 1:48.5

1609m career record:

19 starts 13-4-0

9-KEAYANG CULLEN

Trainer: Margaret Lee (Terang)

Driver: Glen Craven

Best winning mile rate: 1:55.2

1609m career record:

2 starts 1-0-1

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