Smart Missile fires early season shots

Last season’s Champion First Season Sire Smart Missile has fired early shots in the new season, thanks to his first 3YO winner Smart Devil and first 3YO stakes performer Mediterranean.

The Snowden stable’s opinion of Mediterranean was obvious when his first two starts last season were in Group 2 races, the Skyline and the Pago Pago. He finished fifth both times, pleasing jockeys Blake Shinn and Damien Browne who noted that better concentration would help him progress. And progress he did – four months later the colt returned to score an easy maiden win at Canterbury.

Mediterranean demonstrated the benefits of that juvenile experience in Saturday’s ATC The Rosebud 1200m LR where he was caught in a difficult position in the straight behind Thronum, until Shinn found galloping room for him 100 metres out. The colt then showed plenty of focus and determination to cut Thronum’s winning margin to a head, and take second by a short neck from Miss Beneteau.

Watch Mediterranean’s 2nd, ATC The Rosebud LR.

Mediterranean is Smart Missile’s sixth stakes performer and was bred by Matthew Sandblom from stakes-placed city winner Ekali (by Torrential), a grand-daughter of Bold Promise. That means he’s related to three top-class fillies, Merlene, Dear Demi & Miss Pennymoney as well as last season’s Golden Slipper winner Capitalist.

Like Capitalist, Mediterranean was a Magic Millions buy for James Harron, who secured him for $280,000 from the Newgate Farm draft.  He is nominated for the Caulfied Guineas G1 and Caulfield Classic G3 in October.

Ninety minutes before Mediterranean lined up at Randwick, the gelded Smart Devil gave Smart Missile his first success of the 2016/17, in a 1200-metre maiden at the Gold Coast.

It was a big effort against older horses from the 3YO who had shown promise with his debut second last month, and started favourite this time, but had to deal with a wide draw which forced him to race at the rear of the field in the early stages.

Rounding the turn he still had the field in front of him, but he responded to Daniel Griffin’s urging with a driving run that got him to the post a half-length ahead of 4YOs Good Catch & Treasure Island.

Watch Smart Devil win at the Gold Coast – Race 2

Smart Devil is the second of three foals out of She’s Meaner (by Falvelon) and was offered by his breeder Glenlogan Park at the 2015 Magic Millions Sale, where he sold for $120,000 to his owner-trainer Bevan Laming.

Smart Devil is also nominated for the Guineas and the Classic at Caulfield in two months’ time.

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