Smokin’ Romans (NZ) Steps Up to Big Time

6 December 2021

Smokin' Romans (NZ) claims the A$300,000 Listed Pakenham Cup (2500m).

A black type breakthrough in Saturday’s A$300,000 Listed Pakenham Cup (2500m) has continued the upward trajectory of emerging stayer Smokin’ Romans (NZ) (Ghibellines). 

Bought for $52,500 from the draft of breeders White Robe Lodge at Karaka 2018, the gelding has now had 18 starts for seven wins, six placings and A$531,415 in stakes – more than 10 times his purchase price. His only previous attempt at black-type level was a last-start second in the Group Three Bendigo Cup (2400m).

Ridden on Saturday by Jamie Kah, Smokin’ Romans sat in second before rolling forward to take the lead around the home turn. The chestnut quickly put the result beyond doubt in the straight, striding clear to win by two lengths.

“This horse is an absolute legend,” said David Eustace, who trains in partnership with Ciaron Maher. “He’s been in work over a year and he just keeps turning up. He loves his racing and he’s just getting better and better. He’s a funny horse, he’s always had his quirks, but he was really, really good today. He got a lovely ride and he’s a favourite in the stable.

“He probably was a little bit stiff in the Bendigo Cup, but it’s a big thrill today. Jamie did what she does, she got him into a beautiful rhythm.”

Kah is now unbeaten in two rides on Smokin’ Romans, having guided him to a two-length victory in similar style at Moonee Valley in July.

“This just gives Ciaron and Dave so much credit – this horse has been up so long, and I’ve never seen him look so good,” the champion jockey said. He was amazing out there today and made my job easy, and I got the spoils for it.

“I knew I had a fit horse underneath me, and knew that if I wanted to go, I could. But I wanted to give him the easiest run I could early. He does it all himself – he could feel them coming, and he just quickened up when they got to him. He’s push-button – a really lovely stayer. He’s come through his grades perfectly, and well done to the team and the owners.”

Smokin’ Romans became the second big-race winner in less than a month for White Robe Lodge stallion Ghibellines, who also sired the recent $230,000 Group Two Coupland’s Bakeries Mile (1600m) winner Markus Aurelius (NZ), who was a $13,000 purchase from the 2018 South Island Sale.

Vendor White Robe Lodge
Breeding Ghibellines – Inferno
Sale Lot 273, Karaka 2018 Book 1, $52,500
Bred by BJ Anderton ONZM & Mrs LE Anderton