Early morning trackwork
Smoke 'N' Whisky’s final training ahead of the Launceston Cup
It’s 6.30am and the roosters of Longford aren’t the only animals showing signs of life.
JKB Racing trainer John Blacker rises at the crack of dawn and makes his way to the stables.
Awaiting his arrival at the historic Longford Racecourse is thoroughbred Smoke ‘N’ Whisky.
The pair have a big morning ahead.
They meet with jockey Glenn Hodgetts to complete the final training session before the Launceston Cup on Wednesday.
Mr Blacker leads Smoke ‘N’ Whisky out of the stables.
"He has pulled up really well from last Wednesday night when he ran second in the [Armidale] cup," Mr Blacker said.
Mr Hodgetts hooks himself into Smoke ‘N’ Whisky's saddle and the pair trot to the grass to begin their training regime.
“He worked on the grass over 1800 [metres], and ran his last 600 in 38 [seconds] on the bit which is good work for him” Mr Blacker said.
After an impressive morning on the track, Smoke'N'Whisky returns to the stables with Mr Hodgetts and Mr Blacker.
Together they remove the horse’s saddle.
A busy morning on the track concludes with a recovery session in the pool for the seven-year-old, who "recovered well" from his workout.
"Hopefully he will turn up to the race feeling better than we are," Mr Blacker said.