Smart Missile's aim is true

Smart Missile’s barrage of 16 winners, including two stakeswinners, in the past six weeks do more than keep him in the tight race for the Australian Second Season Sires’ title.

They also confirm his growing value as a sire of smart juveniles, like impressive Group winners Debellatio & I’ll Have A Bit,  as well as performers that relish distances beyond 1400 metres. 

The latest example is 3YO Rocketeer who made winning over 2000 metres at Sha Tin look easy when he scored by 2.5 lengths in the Class 2 Hong Kong Young Indstrialists Council Silver Jubilee Cup for the Hung family and champion trainer John Moore. 

Watch Rocketeer win over 2000 metres in Hong Kong.

“It’s a change of luck for the Hung family, and they have another Derby prospect to look forward to next season,” said Moore. “This horse was my first Derby purchase for next season, we bought him after he ran in the Victoria Derby last November. He wasn’t my first choice, I was chasing Inference who went on to win the Randwick Guineas, but like many of them he wasn’t for sale. This horse was, and he always looked like he’d be better with six months under his belt, he was on the leg.”

Rocketeer had finished near the tail in his first two runs over a mile, but the switch to Happy Valley and the step up to 1800m last start saw him show a glimmer of form when sixth to Packing Dragon.

“I’ve been bringing him along very slowly, letting him find his legs and acclimatise,” Moore said. “He started to show a bit of form last start at Happy Valley, he was getting to the line and that told me that he was not far off. I didn’t do much with him going into this as he was a fit horse after the last race. He was focused, he was ready and he just outstayed them. From my point of view, though, he’s done what we wanted this season, to win one race at least. Now he can progress on to next season as one of our Derby contenders.”

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.

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.