Smart Missile colt is Guineas-bound

Mick Price is looking ahead with some confidence to the Bill Stutt Stakes and the Caulfield Guineas after Masculino’s all-the-way win over 1509 metres at Moonee Valley on Saturday.

It was the first try in city company for the son of Smart Missile after his 2YO debut win last April, and an easy victory over 1400 metres at Cranbourne on 27 August. 

Jake Noonan took advantage of Masculino’s ace draw to roll forward and take up the lead where the colt settled comfortably, despite being pressed in the middle stages by Sheer Madness.

Coming round the turn, Masculino had all his rivals in trouble except the top-weighted Eshtiraak who emerged quickly to challenge, but was held at bay by Masculino who rallied gamely to win by a long neck with Sunquest third.

Watch Masculino win at Moonee Valley.

Mick Price said, “I was happy that he won, he does have some improvement in him, I think he’s going to be a nice big Flemington horse if he trains on after the Caulfield Guineas.

“He handled Moonee Valley well, the Bill Stutt will be a little bit tougher but that will be the way he’s going.”

Bred by Grant Ahearn & David Yu, Masculino is the second winner left by Special Melody (by Encosta de Lago), an unraced daughter of three-time Group 1 winner Special Harmony and sister to multiple stakeswinner Little Surfer Girl. Special Melody is due to foal this Spring to Not A Single Doubt. 

Masculino was offered by Glastonbury Stud at the 2016 Magic Millions Sale where Mick Price & Luke Wilkinson bought him for $120,000.

Already 2015/16’s Champion First Season Sire  and the 2016/17 Leading Second Season Sire by winners, Smart Missile is off to an excellent start this season. His 15 winners and more than $600,000 prizemoney give him an early lead among Australia’s stallions with three crops of racing age, and 15th spot on the General Sires’ table.  

Smart Missile's barrage of August winners

Smart Missile has attacked the new season with a barrage of winners, most notably Special Missile, who recorded his fifth consecutive win at Rosehill on Saturday.

And he made it look easy. Settled close to the pace in the Benchmark 80 race over 1500 metres, the 4YO gelding rounded the turn just behind The Pharoah then edged closer  before jockey Blaike McDougall loosened his hold at the 250-metre mark. Special Missile made light of his 59kg and dashed clear to score by 1.3 lengths from Mapmaker and The Pharoah, cutting out the final 600 metres in 34.23.

Watch Special Missile win at Rosehill, 26 August.

A $180,000 Bill Mitchell buy for owner Kenneth Chung from the 2015 Magic Millions Sale, Special Missile was bred by Vinery Stud shareholder Greg Perry, also the breeder of Group 1-winning sisters Atlantic Jewel and Commanding Jewel. Special Missile’s dam Quiet Meadow (by Sadler’s Wells’ son El Prado) won three races in the US including a Listed event and counts Champion Sprinter Drefong and Champion 2YO Colt Action This Day among her relatives.

Trainer John Thompson said of Special Missile, “He’s a real little gutsy bugger that gives his all every time he goes around. You can’t instil that in horses and it’ll take him a long way.”

Special Missile’s win came after successes by 3YO Smartedge at Warwick Farm last Wednesday, and 4YO Malkara & 3YO Island Missile the previous Saturday, and was followed by 4YO Gadfly & 3YO Masculino, who scored on Sunday at Wyong and Cranbourne.

That takes Smart Missile’s Australian tally for August to eleven winners of 15 races, with earnings of more than $400,000 giving him an early lead on the 3rd Season Sires’ table.