Smokin Romans delivers Group One title for Ghibellines

WRL bred Smokin’ Romans powers to weight-for-age Group One glory in the Turnbull Stakes at Flemington
















By Jonny Turner 

In the midst of the iconic Melbourne spring carnival, White Robe Lodge sire Ghibellines was crowned a Group One winning producer when his star son Smokin’ Romans brilliantly won the Turnbull Stakes at Flemington on Saturday.

The all-White Robe Lodge bred and raised galloper notched Ghibellines’ first win at the elite level when out-staying and out-sprinting a star-studded field in one of the Melbourne spring’s most time-honoured events. 

Smokin’ Romans (Ghibellines-Inferno-Yamanin Vital) left his rivals with no excuses when working outside the leader before powering away from the field in the home straight to score by a length and a half.

The win added another Group One breeding title to the incredible list of successes for White Robe Lodge principals Brian and Lorraine Anderton.

And in doing so, Smokin’ Romans continued an outstanding association White Robe Lodge has had with trainers Cairon Maher and David Eustace.

Maher made special mention of his association with the North Taieri nursey following Smokin’ Romans’ Turnbull victory.

“The guys at White Robe Lodge that bred him, I have a bit to with them,” Maher said.

“I’ve had a fair few horses off them, they’re great people to deal with and it’s great for them to win a Group One as well.”

Smokin’ Romans’ win sets up a huge month ahead for the classy galloper.

The son of outstanding race mare Inferno is now the clear-cut favourite for the Group One Caulfield Cup.

Bringing Group One form into a handicap looks a huge advantage given Smokin’ Romans now drops in weight.

"Traditionally going forward the Turnbull has been a strong form race for the spring majors," Maher said. 

"I've got my fingers crossed the same can happen again this year.”

“Smokin' Romans must be a strong Caulfield Cup chance going on his win in the Turnbull and with him dropping significantly in weight for the Caulfield Cup from his run in the Turnbull.”

“He drops to 51.5kgs in the Caulfield Cup which is a massive weight drop from the 55.5 kgs, he carried in the Turnbull.”

Smokin Romans was rated perfectly by rider Ethan Brown who had him up on the speed in Saturday’s Group One. 

The jockey was full of praise for his star ride after his win. 

"He is just so easy this horse, he's very tractable in the run," Brown said. 

"He gave me a lovely ride throughout.”

“He's taken a lot of improvement from last start, I thought he was a bit overlooked today and he has defied his odds to win."

Jamie Kah is now expected to ride Smokin’ Romans in the Caulfield Cup.

With plenty more Ghibellines foals to be born in October, this month is shaping up as a very exciting one for White Robe Lodge.