Smart Missile assembles firepower for 2018

Smart Missile’s consistent success through the Spring and early Summer propelled him to the top of the Third Season Sires’ table and into the leading group of 2YO Sires by mid-December.

Now, as the new year begins, he appears for the first time in Australia’s top 20 sires on the General Premiership with $2.4 million prizemoney and 52 winners.

That’s no mean feat when the top 20 includes three of the world’s reigning Champion Sires (Snitzel, Galileo and Savabeel), and five past Australian Champion Sires (Fastnet Rock, Street Cry, Lonhro, Redoute’s Choice and Exceed and Excel). It is possibly the strongest collection of leading stallions ever seen in Australia and all of them, bar the deceased High Chaparral and Street Cry, are active. 

December saw Smart Missile put up 18 winners of 19 races, headed by 2YO colt Irish Bet who landed the $500,000 TC Inglis Nursery (R) LR on 16 December. Skyray, second in the Wyong Magic Millions Classic (R) LR, and Queensland debut winner Clockwise further strengthened Smart Missile’s presence on the 2YO Sires’ table, where he’s now third behind Spirit of Boom and Not A Single Doubt. 

With Caulfield placegetter Anthemoessa (14th in the ballot order) and Skyray (23rd) still Magic Millions-bound, Smart Missile is among the stallions with a chance of claiming that coveted No. 1 spot on the 2YO Sires’ premiership on 13 January.

Several recent 3YO winners look likely to keep adding wins to Smart Missile’s record. Sparky Lad (with Chris Waller in Sydney) and Memory Bank (with the Lindsay Park stable in Melbourne) have each won twice already this season and Memory Bank is 24th on the ballot list for the $2 million Magic Millions Guineas (R) LR.

Peter and Paul Snowden have trained six winners by Smart Missile, among them Triple Crown’s 3YO Smartedge who posted his second success from five starts at Kembla Grange on 16 December. He’s also on the Magic Millions Guineas trail and added another $9,900 to his qualifying prizemoney with a very close second over 1400 metres at Randwick on New Year’s Day. 

A day later Bryan & Daniel Guy’s 3YO filly Protest broke her maiden at her third start and will now work through the grades in Queensland alongside her stablemate and paternal half-brother Luna Missile who won twice in November.

The John McArdle-trained Strela, a record-breaking debut 2YO winner last season, scored by 2.5 lengths at Mornington on 27 December. A fortnight earlier the same stable sent 4YO Missile Boom to Cranbourne for his third career win.

Luke Oliver is sure of 4YO mare Millie the Missile’s city class ability and after her second win, at Kilmore on 19 December, he’s nominated her for a 1500-metre race at Sandown on 3 January.

Over in Perth a pair of talented 4YOs have continued their good work in Smart Missile’s corner. Missile Launch bolted in by 3 lengths on 23 December, his third consecutive win from five starts, and No Say In It posted his third career win on 20 December.

Smart Missile also has solid representation in Hong Kong which produced his first winner of 2018, 3YO Super Missile who overcame a difficult run and flew late over 1200 metres to score on New Year’s Day for trainer Frankie Lor. Super Missile made an early impression in Hong Kong when third in a November trial behind subsequent Hong Kong Sprint G1 winner Mr Stunning and he looks capable of doing plenty more this season. 

Super Missile, one of Smart Missile’s five Hong Kong winners, has a year-older full brother, Sacred Missile, racing in Macau where he’s a stakes-placed four-time winner.

With quality performers in leading stables across Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong, and more than 260 yearlings and foals on the ground, Smart Missile has the firepower to maintain his upward mobility. 

Magic Millions will auction Smart Missile’s first 22 yearlings of 2018 on the Gold Coast, including three fillies and two colts in Arrowfield’s consignment

Smart Missile 2YO wins Inglis Nursery

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. 

Watch Irish Bet win the ATC Inglis Nursery (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.