Most horses have established themselves before turning nine, but Smedley can can put another plum on the cake with victory in tomorrow's $35,000 Harold Plumley Memorial Mitchelson Cup at Ellerslie.

This may be the last chance for a notable victory for the mud-loving northern veteran, or maybe not.

Remarkably, the beach-trained gelding from near Waipu is currently in his career best form - with one condition - a heavy 10 or heavy 11 like he will strike tomorrow.

Take no notice of Smedley's two recent defeats, both were on dead 4 and dead 5 surfaces at Ruakaka. Three back he won on the normally firmish Ruakaka, but on that occasion the rating was a slow 8.


Going back a few starts Smedley won twice at Ellerslie on heavy 11 tracks, including the Cornwall Handicap. This time he has 60kg to lump through testing conditions, but in summing up the relative strength of the opposition, he does not look to be that badly off.

Smedley is tough not glamorous and that grit will be the only requirement. Flash will run a poor second to stickability tomorrow.

Stokers Rock could be dangerous, despite what, on paper, looks a mixed formline. His unplaced run last start was when 5.5 lengths away in the Listed Karaka Classic against a much better field than this.

A few starts back though his form throws up a second to Bee Tee Junior under 59kg at Te Rapa and fourth, beaten 1.8 lengths, in the Taumarunui Cup. Both runs would put him right in this finish.

Mangaroa Flo Jo's fifth in the Karaka Classic is another good pointer here. Heavy footing is no problem for her and she is reasonably well placed. Bunbury Lad can tough out a fight as he showed when placed here last start.

There is a lot of guesswork around Cambridge mare Lizzie L'Amour going into tonight's A$200,000 Zoustar Stocks Stakes at Moonee Valley.

The classy Zabeel mare had been working in outstanding fashion going into her Australian debut run in the 1600m Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes at Moonee Valley and there was a lot of confidence she could win in a fresh state. She was slightly preferred by connections over stablemate Bonneval, who won the race stylishly.

Lizzie L'Amour was found to have experienced a heart fibrillation issue and was pulled up by Damien Oliver.

The problem now is, Lizzie L'Amour is a staying mare and has that one run - if it could be called that - taken the edge off her speed to tackle another 1600m.

"We agonised over that," admits co-trainer Andrew Forsman. "Ideally, with the Caulfield Cup coming up, we wanted to take her to 2000m for her second start, but we were not sure she'd done enough in that first run to be fit enough for 2000m. So we've taken the cautious option and gone back to 1600m. We are not sure what that will mean to the result." Hugh Bowman takes the ride this time.

The stable is more confident of a forward showing from its Derby-winning Jon Snow in the A$200,000 Japan Racing Association Cup. Jon Snow was not disgraced when eighth in the Makybe Diva Stakes behind Humidor.

Being a determined stayer, Jon Snow will appreciate the step from 1600m to tonight's 2040m.

Wonder mare Winx has arrived safely in Melbourne to continue her spring campaign.

"I have been very happy with her work over the past week, which included a gallop on Saturday and again on Tuesday morning prior to leaving the Rosehill stable," trainer Chris Waller said.

"She will have a gallop next week to finalise her preparation before the Turnbull Stakes on October 7."