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    Champ is back Champ is back

    SMOKEN UP will be honoured at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday night.

    CHAMPION pacer Smoken Up is being readied for Tabcorp Park Melton comeback! While the gelding is well and truly retired, trainer Lance Justice plans... Champ is back

    CHAMPION pacer Smoken Up is being readied for Tabcorp Park Melton comeback!

    While the gelding is well and truly retired, trainer Lance Justice plans to take the 15-year-old to the venue to celebrate ‘his’ race – the Smoken Up Sprint.

    The Group Two has attracted a strong field, including current crowd favourite, Lennytheshark, which will be first-up since finishing fourth behind his stablemate Hectorjayjay in The Blacks A Fake at Albion Park last July.

    “He will be on track to watch his own race,” Justice said. “It would be nice if he leads out the field, so I will see what I can organise.

    “Otherwise, he can stand around in the stalls if anyone would like to come and say ‘hello’ to him.”

    Retired as a sprightly 12-year-old on September 6, 2014, Smoken Up still enjoys life at Justice’s Melton stable.

    “He just enjoys life these days, resting in his same yard and having a run,” Justice said. “The only difference between life now and when he was racing is he doesn’t race or work much – he’s nothing but a freeloader.”

    Before Justice called halt to his fabulous career, Smoken Up claimed 13 Group Ones across Australasia, won at 15 tracks and set numerous records, including becoming the first standardbred in the Southern Hemisphere to better 1:50…proving Trigger pulled the fastest race cart in the south!

    Further to his 1:48.5 success at Tabcorp Park Menangle, Smoken Up has registered and additional 73 victories and 54 placings from 153 starts for earnings of $3,607,985.

    “He gave us so many great memories and moments, which is why he’ll always be a once in a lifetime horse,” Justice said. “Now he enjoys life in retirement, but still walks around like he is the Kind of the place!”

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    Paul Courts

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