Smart Missile’s fourth 2YO stakeswinner Irish Bet made a more-than-usual impact with his convincing debut win in Saturday’s $500,000 ATC Inglis Nursery 1000m (R) LR.
Most obviously, the $291,000 winner’s prizemoney is an exceptional, and early return on the $55,000 that agent Mick Flanagan bid for him on behalf of the China Horse Club at the 2017 Inglis Easter Sale.
The Club’s International Racing & Breeding Manager Michael Wallace said of Irish Bet, “He showed us a lot of ability from day one but two-year-olds off one trial, you never know until you see them in action.
“He was a lovely horse, was always going to be a good two-year-old type, he just had everything we look for in a two-year-old type.”
The win was more than usually significant as the first stakes success for John O’Shea on his own account since leaving Godolphin earlier this year.
He described Irish Bet, “He is a classic two-year-old. He is a compact horse, a running horse with a great attitude.
“He will be straight to the paddock for a short break and then we will get him ready for a race like the Skyline Stakes to get him to the Slipper.”
Race bonuses of $50,000 are uncommon and welcome rewards for breeders Barry Broomhead and Jim Knox who sent the unraced O’Reilly mare Dublin Me Bet to Smart Missile, and for the colt’s well-regarded vendor Middlebrook Valley Lodge.
Mr Broomhead explained his stallion selection, “I just liked Smart Missile, he was well priced, he had great sectionals in some of his racing, he was very fast and I just thought he would work for us.” Dublin Me Bet also has a yearling filly by Smart Missile.
Irish Bet and the filly Anthemoessa, second at Caulfield on Saturday, have propelled Smart Missile into third spot, behind Choisir and Not A Single Doubt, on the Australian 2YO Sires’ premiership. He has also moved past Sepoy to head the Third Season Sires’ table, with $2.2 million and 46 winners.
It’s a strong performance featuring a large cast of talent beyond Irish Bet. In fact, it was a four-win weekend for Smart Missile, thanks to Smartedge (Kembla Grange), Missile Boom (Cranbourne) & Protest (Sunshine Coast).
They join a long list of Smart Missile performers since 1 August, including Group-placed 3YO fillies I’ll Have A Bit and Smart Coupe, and progressive city winners Sparky Lad, Special Missile, The Avenger and Missile Coda in Sydney, and Club Tropicana, Masculino, Memory Bank and Ultra Smart in Melbourne.
Backed by sustained breeder support, large foal crops and leading owners & stables, the Champion First Season Sire of 2015/16 is on track to make 2017/18 his best season yet.
Twenty-two yearlings by Smart Missile will be offered at the 2018 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale, followed by 36 lots catalogued for February’s Inglis Classic Sale. Arrowfield’s consignments for these sales include 7 colts and 4 fillies by Smart Missile.