Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Smokin' Joe Looks to Break Shackles

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Smokin' Joe Looks to Break Shackles

Article excerpt

RACING: The final Group race of the season, the Bletchingly Stakes is often considered a good pointer for the upcoming Spring Racing Carnival.

Trainers will often use the Bletchingly (Group 3, 1200m) to start a Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate or Melbourne Cup campaign for their horses - the most notable example in recent years being Shoot Out in 2010.

Smokin' Joey, victorious in last year's edition in very comfortable fashion, will defend his title on Saturday, but it is worth noting he has failed to win a race since - sharing the same fate as 2014 winner Thiamandi and 2013 winner Second Effort.

Despite the race's history as a spring lead-up, in recent years the Bletchingly has primarily proved a form reference for the Group 2 PB Lawrence Stakes (1400m).

There is a chance that this could change in 2016, with the Darren Weir-trained Mahuta - the winner of this year's Group 2 Autumn Stakes - looking well placed to make an impression in the spring carnival. …

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