Ross Price admits the Group 3 Colonel Reeves Stakes (1100m) has not been a kind race to his talented sprinter, Smoko.
The past two editions of the sprint have been a nightmare for the Bunbury trainer with Smoko bedevilled by injury and bad luck.
In last year’s Colonel Reeves Stakes the son of Snitzel suffered a serious tendon injury that kept him out of racing for nine months.
At Ascot on Tuesday his fortunes failed to improve when he trailed the field in last position, eight lengths astern of Rock Magic.
He was in the firing line early when he sat outside of the leader, but was the first beaten when the field turned for home.
Price said although Smoko appeared to have suffered no physical injury his racing campaign is over for the year.
“I had the vets go over him straight after the race and they couldn’t find anything amiss with him,” said Price.
“He actually recovered very quickly and I think he may have choked down after pulling hard early in the race.
“But it’s back to the drawing board and he won’t be racing again before the end of the year, he will go for a spell.
“I can’t plan any of the feature races like the Winterbottom Stakes at the upcoming Ascot carnival on that run.
“There is no point going ahead until he winds down, chills out and I can get his mind and attitude right.”
Smoko has won six of 13 races with three placings and collected $255,600 in prizemoney.
There was brighter news for Price on his home track at Bunbury when Tudor Bolt stormed home from the back of the field to take out the TABtouch Provincial Sprinters Heat (1108m).
The I Am Invincible gelding shapes as a promising type for Price and lands his second win this campaign after scoring first up at Belmont in August.
“He hit a flat spot in the middle of his preparation but I’ve been able to freshen him up at the beach,” said Price.
“I’m not sure what races are in store for him but at this stage he will just go through his grades.”