Smokin’ Joey was smoking hot today and so was Western Australian apprentice Chris Parnham.

He needed every millimetre of the 1600 metres to claim victory in the Group 3 Herald Sun Carlyon Cup, but he got the job done.

The seven-year-old gelding has been rejuvenated since joining the stable of up and coming trainer Wez Hunter. Smokin’ Joey has lifted the profile of his trainer. “Before he came to me I had four in work so he’s got a lot to answer for – he’s been the difference for me.” Hunter said.

Smokin’ Joey’s victory in the Carlyon Cup was his first since winning the Group 1 Goodwood at Morphetville in May last year.

“He really deserves this win. His last half dozen runs have been really good and I thought he was really well in at the weights,” Hunter said. “If he hadn’t have won I would have been disappointed.”

He was well ridden by stable apprentice Chris Parnham, who recently transferred to Hunter. In speaking to the media after the race, Parnham was full of praise for the faith and support Hunter has shown in him.

There is no doubt if Chris Parnham gets the opportunities in Melbourne he will show he has what it takes to make it in the big league.
Smokin’ Joey’s next start looks likely to be the Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 28.