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.”

Real Impact's three-quarter brother stars in Hong Kong

Real Impact’s three-quarter brother Neorealism claimed another major international trophy for Japan with a stunning victory in Sunday evening’s ~$3.4 million HKJC Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup 2000m G1 at Sha Tin.

The race didn’t begin promisingly for Neorealism who had been expected to lead, but he adapted quickly to his champion jockey Joao Moreira’s alterantive strategy.

Moreira said, “The pace slowed so much on the back straight so I had to pop out and get going. He got going but he wasn’t at his top speed, so I was always confident that once we turned for home he was going to finish off strongly, which he did.”

Moreira’s initiative sent Neorealism to the lead after 1100 metres and the 6YO entire unleashed a 44.8 final 800 metres to hold out Pakistan Star and last season’s QEII Cup winner & Hong Kong Horse of the Year Werther.

Watch Neorealism win the HKJC Queen Elizabeth II Cup G1.

The QEII Cup is Neorealism’s first Group 1 victory, but he has won twice at Group 2 level in Japan and was third in last year’s Kyoto Mile Championship G1, won by Mikki Isle who joins Real Impact and Maurice to make a trio of Japanese stars on Arrowfield’s 2017 stallion roster.

Bred by Katsumi Yoshida’s Northern Racing, Neorealism (by Neo Universe) and dual Group 1 winner Real Impact (by Deep Impact) are both by sons of Sunday Silence out of Tokio Reality, whose record also includes multiple stakeswinner I’ll Love Again (by El Condor Pasa).

Neorealism, the second Japanese-bred winner of the QEII Cup after Rulership in 2012, has now earned almost $5 million for owner U. Carrot Farm and trainer Noriyuki Hori.

Real Impact, winner of the ATC George Ryder S. G1 and Tokyo Yasuda Kinen G1, covered 134 mares at Arrowfield in 2016 and is again available to Australasian breeders this year at a fee of $19,250 inc. GST.

Smart Hong Kong debut by Arrowfield graduate

On paper, Race 2 at Sha Tin on Sunday evening was a modest (at least in Hong Kong terms, with prizemoney of $A140,000) Class 4 handicap over 1200 metres.

It attracted special attention because of the debut of this year’s Hong Kong International Sale-topper, the Starcraft-Top Cuban colt bought for $360,000 from Arrowfield’s 2014 Inglis Easter draft by the Hong Jockey Club.

He was then purchased by Liu Yu Wen for $HK8.5 million (~$A1.4 million) at the Hong Kong Sale last March and sent to trainer David Hall. The now 4YO gelding’s excellent lead-up work and two barrier trials ensured considerable interest in his first raceday appearance.

Jing Jing Win could hardly have made it look easier. He jumped out smartly and took up the running, but jockey Zac Purton was happy to let Gainfuljet cross over into the lead, allowing Jing Jing Win to settle comfortably behind him.

Purton slipped the favourite off the fence before the turn, putting him in the perfect position to attack and attack he did, just before the 300-metre mark, powering away to win by 4 lengths in 1:09.51. Three-time Hong Kong winner Winning Boy was second and Gainfuljet was third.

Watch Jing Jing Win score on debut at Sha Tin.

While acknowledging Jing Jing Win’s evident ability, David Hall did not overplay the performance. “He’s got a bit of talent, he’s done the job nicely first time and now he’s got to build on it.”

For Paul Favretto, who bred Jing Jing Win with Paul Rowe, there is much to look forward to.

He said, “We’re excited to own a mare that can produce such athletic and talented sons and for all involved: Jing Jing Win’s owner, trainer and Arrowfield. 

“We’re looking forward to seeing what he can achieve in Hong Kong, the debut of his Redoute’s Choice half-brother for Shadwell, how her Snitzel colt develops ahead of next year’s sales and her next foal by Redoute’s Choice.”

Messrs Favretto & Rowe are familiar with major Hong Kong success: they’re also co-breeders of Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup G1 winner Contentment (Hussonet-Jemison).

Top Cuban (by Anabaa) has already left Group 3 winner Havana to Starcraft and her $1.5 million Inglis Easter colt by Redoute’s Choice, named Eltizaam, will race for Sheikh Hamdan from the Hayes & Dabernig stable.

All American's first winner in Hong Kong

John Moore’s seventh Hong Kong trainer’s premiership looks much more certain after four winners at Sha Tin on Sunday took him to 67 winners for the season. That’s six ahead of John Size, with two meetings to go, on Wednesday and next Sunday 12 July.

Those three winners on Sha Tin’s all weather track included Tianhuang, the first Hong Kong winner by second season sire All American.

Watch Tianhuang’s win here.

The 3YO gelding put up an eye-catching performance to win the Tai Mong Tsai Handicap over 1200 metres at his second start for the Moore stable. Despite a slightly slow start, jockey Doublas Whyte settled him midfield on the fence, then swung to the outside on the turn.

Tianhuang steadily picked up ground and stretched out really well over the final 200 metres to score by 2.5 lengths in 1:08.54 from King of Household, with Geronimo Meadow third and the Size-trained favourite Modern Fortune fourth.

Although Tianhuang was obviously comfortable on the dirt surface, John Moore isn’t prepared to limit him to it just yet, saying, “We won’t pigeon hole him after just a couple of starts.”

Like Moore’s other two winners on the card, People’s Knight & Chevalier Star, Tianhuang is an Inglis sale graduate, bought by George Moore Bloodstock for $290,000 from the Arrowfield draft at the 2013 Inglis Easter Sale. He is All American’s top-priced colt to date.

Tianhuang was bred by the Arrowfield, Planette & Belford partnership from the Viscount mare Miss Victoria,  a half-sister to Group 2 winner Domesday, from the family of champion 2YO Xaar – all descended from “blue hen” mare Best In Show, the fourth dam of Redoute’s Choice.

Tianhuang is the second winner for his dam who also has a rising 2YO filly by All American, purchased by Marc Conners at this year’s Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale, and a weanling brother to Tianhuang. Miss Victoria is in foal to Snitzel.

This Hong Kong success and three Australian winners over the weekend seal a very good month for All American, whose nine winners since 6 June also include Sydney winner Eisenhower, Caulfield 2YO winner Green Card and US stakeswinner America Mon Amie.