Smart Missile's three-state success

Second season sire Smart Missile enjoyed success in three states on Saturday, including two city winners, a new stakes performer and an eye-catching runner-up at Caulfield.  All four horses have big Spring prizes in their sights.

The day began with Jonathan Munz’s home-bred 3YO filly Exocet (ex Crillon by Zabeel), who progressed in style from her maiden win at Geelong earlier this month to a 2.3 length win over 1400 metres at Caulfield.

Watch Exocet win at Caulfield.

Co-trainer Lee Freedman confirmed that the filly’s main Spring target is the VRC Oaks G1, with her lead-up race still undecided.  He said, “One way or another we’ll try and get her there. She’s improving all the time and has got a sharp turn of foot.”

Twenty minutes later Arrowfield’s own runner Hair Trigger (ex Touch of Greatness by Don Eduardo) was a close third to Guard of Honour and Flash Fibian in the $100,000 ATC Heritage S. 1100m LR. Bred by Gooree Park Stud and trained by James Cummings, he’s Smart Missile’s 7th stakes performer.

Back at Caulfield, Rocketeer (ex Some Girls Do by More Than Ready) split the favourite Harlow Gold and Kaching in the 1600-metre National Jockey Trust Plate. He has stepped up with confidence into city company since his maiden win last month and, like Hair Trigger, is nominated for the $500,000 Caulfield Classic G3 on 15 October.

Rocketeer is trained by Mick Price for by a group of owners including Segenhoe Thoroughbreds.

Smart Missile’s fruitful day ended at Belmont in Perth where Simon Miller sent out Royal Missile (ex Spirit of Grace by Dr Grace) to down the hot favourite Bonny Be Good in a 3YO maiden plate over 1300 metres.

Watch Royal Missile win at Belmont.

Perth Racing presenter Adam McGrath reported on Twitter that Miller has a big opinion of Royal Missile and will aim her at the $200,000 WA Champion Fillies S. 1600m G3 on 12 November.

Smart Missile leads the Australian Second Season Sires’ table by winners with 11, and is second on the earnings list with $375,323 – less than $40,000 behind Foxwedge.

Hair Trigger fires at Wyong

First season sire Smart Missile added a new winner to his record when the Arrowfield-owned Hair Trigger scored comfortably over 1200 metres at Wyong on Thursday.

The 2YO gelding jumped well from gate 10, but Blake Shinn opted to ease him back then send him forward round the turn before asking him to quicken up. Hair Trigger took the lead and, without further urging, stretched out to win by almost a length from Uthred with Spending To Win a length away in third place. 

Watch Hair Trigger win at Wyong.

It was the 2YO gelding’s second start after he flashed home for a debut fifth at Kembla Grange in April wearing the colours of his breeder, and Smart Missile’s owner-breeder, Eduardo Cojuangco’s Gooree Park Stud.  Mr Cojuangco prefers to race fillies and colts, so Hair Trigger was sold to Arrowfield.

Smart Missile’s sixth winner, Hair Trigger is the first foal out of the winning Don Eduardo mare Touch of Greatness who is due to foal again this Spring to the brilliant son of Fastnet Rock.

Shinn tweeted after the race, “Hair Trigger showed great race sense for a young gelding and displayed brilliant acceleration to win today.”

Trainer James Cummings has a Saturday start at Canterbury on 23 July in mind for Hair Trigger and, all going well, will aim him at the early Spring 3YO stakes races.

Smart Missile’s popularity with breeders since his launch in 2012 has been matched by the enthusiasm of buyers who have paid an average of around six times his service fee for his first two crops of yearlings.