Popular Sydney horseman Peter Snowden may have a dual Group 1 winner engaged in the 2011 The Run To The Rose on Saturday with Helmet set to kick-off their three-year-old career in the Rosehill feature, but he is wary that Smart Missile may be a little too quick for them first-up.
Anthony Cumming’s talented colt Smart Missile, to date the only horse able to beat Snowden’s other dual Group 1 winning juvenile from last season Sepoy, and AJC Sires Produce Stakes – Champagne Stakes champion Helmet are the two top acceptors for the $125,000 Group 3 The Run To The Rose (1200m) this weekend.
The duo also dominate the 2011 Golden Rose odds, Smart Missile and Helmet sitting one-two in the Luxbet markets for the $1 million showdown to take place at Rosehill on September 10.
Although Smart Missile is as yet untested at elite level, the undefeated galloper having been scratched at the barriers of the Golden Slipper during the autumn, they have shown enough promise to be installed as the Golden Rose favourite and also to start at the top of the Luxbet odds for their resuming run on Saturday.
Snowden knows how good Smart Missile is having watched them defeat Sepoy in a massive boilover in the Group 2 Todman Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill back on March 19, and hopes his Exceed And Excel colt Helmet can be competitive enough to atone for their stablemate.
Smart Missile exploded to win a barrier trial at Randwick back on August 5 and was again ultra impressive yesterday when given a final hit-out on the dirt at The Royal, showing they were ready to return and prove their potential once and for all.
Helmet also looked sharp and pleased his trainer to no end when they worked at Warwick Farm on Tuesday, Snowden saying how well Helmet had returned for the new season.
“He’s a magnificent animal now,” Snowden said.
“He was always a big scopy bloke but to me he’s furnished into a very fine specimen.
“It’s the racing now that will bring him on.”
Despite Helmet’s obvious class and ability, there is a query that the 1200 metres of The Run To The Rose may be a little short.
Helmet has twice run and twice won over the track and distance back in February, but showed they were a genuine middle-distance horse with their two Group 1 wins being over 1400 metres and 1600 metres.
“He probably lacks a little bit of dash compared to what he had as an early two-year-old,” Snowden said.
“On Saturday he’ll probably be a touch vulnerable because I think Smart Missile’s a pretty sharp horse.”
Win or lose on Saturday, Helmet will continue onto the Golden Rose before Snowden embarks on an interstate raid with them targeting the $1 million Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 8, which is when Snowden believes they will be at their best.
The latest Caulfield Guineas 2011 betting odds at Luxbet have Helmet as the $6.50 favourite over Smart Missile ($8.50).
To check the full Rosehill Saturday racing markets and those for the upcoming Group One showdowns this spring, head to our preferred online bookmaker Luxbet and open a new account with a minimum of $25 and quote the codeword BONUSBET to get a bonus bet valued up to $400!
2011 Run To The Rose Field & Barrier Draw
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rtg.|
|1||3X1111X||HELMET||Peter Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||3||59kg||103|
|2||1X1X||SMART MISSILE||Anthony Cummings||Glen Boss||8||57.5kg||95|
|3||1X137X1||FOXWEDGE||John O’Shea||Corey Brown||1||57kg||93|
|4||14164X64||DIAMOND TO PEGASUS||Tony Sergi||Nathan Berry||5||56.5kg||75|
|5||591204X5||BOYS ON TOUR||John P Thompson||Christian Reith||2||55kg||74|
|6||134X||FLIGHT OF PEGASUS||Scott Aspery||Chris Munce||4||55kg||72|
|7||4||MASHKOOR||Jason Coyle||Peter Wells||7||55kg||62|
|8||111120X3||KARUTA QUEEN||Neville Layt||Tommy Berry||6||54kg||85|