Smart Missile strikes with a stakes double

Last season’s Champion First Season Sire Smart Missile struck in Adelaide on Saturday with his first stakes double and suddenly, the race for the 2016/17 Second Season Sires’ title has intensified.

The John McArdle-trained I’ll Have A Bit has progressed steadily from a debut fourth at Flemington on New Year’s Day, a second to stakeswinner Jukebox at Geelong and a third at Flemington a fortnight ago. She left no excuses for her rivals in the $200,000 SAJC National S. 1200m G3, driving along the rail from the rear of the field and momentarily held up before sprinting past hot favourite Booker to win by 1.3 lengths in 1:10.48.

Watch I’ll Have A Bit win the SAJC National S. G3.

Bred by Ken Breese, I’ll Have A Bit was a $48,000 buy for Redgum Racing from Basinghall Farm at the 2016 Inglis VOBIS Gold Sale. She’s the best of three foals out of Take All Of Me (by Jeune), a city-winning daughter of the very good multiple Group winner Tickle My.

Three races later, I’ll Have A Bit’s champion jockey Craig Williams joined Pinecliff Racing’s Freedman-trained home-bred filly Exocet to fight out the finish of the $125,000 SAJC Centaurea S. 2019m LR with Sort After and Have Another Glass. 

Watch Exocet win the SAJC Centaurea S. LR.

Exocet’s ability was seen early, when she won twice, at Geelong & Caulfield, in her first three starts last Spring. She wasn’t quite ready for black type Melbourne company then but has improved this time in and relished her first try beyond 1800 metres.

Exocet is the second stakeswinner, after talented colt Ready For Victory, out of the Zabeel mare Crillon, a half-sister to Champion 2YO Meurice.  This is the family of Group 1-winning brothers, leading sire Rubiton and Euclase. It’s also interesting to note that Exocet is in-bred 3 x 3 to Danehill.

In all, Smart Missile has added seven wins to his Australian record this week, consolidating his lead on the Second Season Sires’ list by winners (55) & wins (75). With little more than $400,000 covering Foxwedge, So You Think & Smart Missile at the top of the table, the battle for the Second Season Sires’ premiership is set to light up the final 10 weeks of 2016/17. 

Big day everywhere for Smart Missile

Smart Missile is back on top of the Australian Second Season Sires’ list after quality Saturday wins at Ascot & Bendigo and a valuable Group 3 placing at Caulfield.

However, the day began across the Tasman with Cha Siu Bao, who followed up his impressive maiden success at Te Rapa last month with a three-length win at Ashburton for Hermitage Thoroughbreds and the stable of Lance O’Sullivan & Andrew Scott.

Watch Cha Siu Bao win in New Zealand.

The fixed odds for next month’s NZ Two Thousand Guineas G1 were immediately adjusted and the colt now sits on the third line of betting at $8.00.

A $425,000 purchase by Anton & Oliver Koolman from Widden’s Inglis Easter draft, Cha Siu Bao is the fourth winner out of the Frost family’s multiple Group winner and Group 1 placegetter Ballet Society (by Stravinsky), a half-sister to Group 1 winner Cent Home.

Next up was Redgum Racing’s 2YO colt Strela. He defied his double-figure starting price to make an excellent debut at Bendigo, settling quickly in front and extending his lead in the straight to out-gun Tarima & Margot. The time of 50.88 was a new race and track record for 900 metres.

Strela (ex Humma Mumma by Bel Esprit) was a $120,000 buy from Flinders Park Stud at the Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale and is prepared by John Sadler.

Watch Strela win on debut.

Rocketeer continued his excellent Spring form when second to Good Standing in the $500,000 MRC Caulfield Classic 2000m G3, and was a touch unlucky it wasn’t the other way round. Shuffled back on the turn while all-the-way leader Good Standing shot clear, he did well to cut the winner’s margin to three-quarters of a length.

The quinella was a notable result for Smart Missile’s owner & breeder Gooree Park Stud whose red & black colours are carried by Good Standing.

Watch Rocketeer’s 2nd, MRC Caulfield Classic G3.

Rocketeer is the third winner out of Some Girls Do (by More Than Ready), a winning half-sister to Sydney stakeswinner Winter King. He was a $150,000 purchase for Moody Racing from the Edinburgh Park draft at the 2015 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale.

The Mick Price-trained gelding’s four seconds – two in black type company – since his maiden win in August keep  him on track for the $1.5 million Victoria Derby G1 on 29 October. 

Smart Missile’s fruitful day ended at Ascot in Perth where 3YO filly Royal Missile got her second win this season, and it was a super effort.

Drawn widest of the ten runners in the 1400-metre 3YO event, Royal Missile ended up at the rear of the field, but made ground swiftly round the turn and sprinted home for a stylish victory, three-quarters of a length ahead of Samovare. 

Watch Royal Missile win at Ascot.

Royal Missile is a half-sister to dual Group 1 winner Turffontein, from Spirit of Grace (by Dr Grace), and was offered by Blue Gum Farm at Inglis Melbourne where she was knocked down for $240,000 to Aquanita Racing. She’s trained by Simon Miller in Perth for a partnership including loyal Aquanita clients Ray, Ben & Ryan Meadowcroft.

Rocketeer, Strela and Royal Missile added almost $150,000 to Smart Missile’s earnings – enough to take him past Foxwedge with a new total of $669,618. He comfortably heads the list by winners with 15, and has just cracked his first million dollars as a sire, thanks largely to his eight stakes performers.

The marketplace is missing none of this: Baystone Farm’s Smart Missile colt out of Asshewaqua topped the recent Inglis Ready2Race Sale, selling for $310,000.