Smoko charges to the line. Picture: Hollands Photographic.
Smoko charges to the line. Picture: Hollands Photographic.

Boom sprinter Smoko confirmed his position as WA's newest sprinting star with a brilliant display of dashing speed to trounce his rivals by three lengths in today's Belmont Newmarket (1200m).

Co trainers Ross and Clint Price had to trek a rocky path into the five-year-old's maiden Listed win with injuries and the weather having been against them.

Smoko, who started at a $1.60 favourite, was caught deep from his wide gate, when he was narrowly beaten first-up, by Pininci in last month's Beaufine Stakes (1000m) at his first start since last November.

A minor leg injury and wet tracks had thwarted the Snitzel gelding having a warm up start over a 1000m a fortnight before.

Smoko left no doubt that he was the next WA star sprinter When William Pike piloted him to the lead from another wide draw in eight, before accelerating away from his opposition to post the easiest of wins in the $100,000 handicap feature.

The $5 second favourite Dominating gave chase but he was no match for Smoko, finishing second. While it was another ¾ of a length back to Bolton Sprint winner Celebrity Miss, who eased from $5 to $7.50 to take the minor end of the trifecta.

The win continued the premiership jockey's surge into the new season capping a treble after wins on the highly promising Stagnite and returning Kheleva to his best form in the fourth and sixth races.

"We had so much going against us in the Beaufine," Clint Price said. "We knew we wanted that race before but he had a few mishaps which stopped us.

"He was always was one run behind the others.

"I even thought today he was still a run behind the others fitness wise and in his campaign.

"William (Pike) had to use a bit of petrol to get to the front but the horse is able to that at both ends of the race.

"This is the special thing about this horse."

Price said Smoko was only a 50-50 chance to butter up in a fortnight against Barakey and Mr Moet in the weight-for-age $100,000 Goodwood Sprint (1300m).

He said connections would sit down within the next week to map out a future campaign for Smoko.

Smoko who was backed into $1.60 today has now won at six of his seven starts.

The West Australian

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