Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
Anthony Cummings’ explosive young colt Smart Missile made a stunning three-year-old debut at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday winning the $125,000 Group 3 Run To The Rose (1200m), the blistering late-burst victory securing their clear favouritism in the 2011 Golden Rose odds.
The son of Fastnet Rock maintained their flawless career record to date, Smart Missile now having won all three of their starts at stakes level to earn connections over $315,000 in prize money.
Owners Gooree Pastoral Company and trainer Cummings are hoping to add dramatically that figure next month with Smart Missile on track to contest the opening elite level showdown of the Sydney Spring Racing Carnival, the $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on September 10.
Undefeated as a two-year-old with wins in both the Listed NSW Breeders Plate (1000m) and Group 2 Todman Stakes (1200m) where they claimed a shock upset over subsequent Golden Slipper winner Sepoy, Smart Missile was, before Saturday’s first-up win, installed as the $3.40 favourite in the futures’ Golden Slipper betting markets at Luxbet.
They have had their price slashed further, Smart Missile now paying $2.20 to become this year’s Golden Slipper winner after defeating many of their to-be Rose rivals in the Run To The Rose.
Going out as the odds-on favourite for the Run To The Rose, Smart Missile and jockey Glen Boss originally looked in trouble on Saturday, the horse appearing to be struggling at the 400 metres.
“I’d sold out well before the home turn,” Cummings admitted after the race.
“He was slow out and then dropped back to last.
“The filly (Karuta Queen) had dashed to a big lead at the top of the straight and really there was no hope for Smart Missile.”
However, Smart Missile quickly put fears of defeat to bed as they pulled out a shocking burst of acceleration to snare a significant final-stride victory over the John O’Shea-trained Foxwedge ($4.60) by a quarter of a length.
Finishing a length further away in third was Peter Snowden’s dual Group 1 winner Helmet ($6), while fourth place went to the Neville Layt-trained Karuta Queen ($11).
“It was an amazing effort to get up and win,” Cummings said.
Helmet has retained their second favouritism in the futures Golden Rose odds at a quote of $5 while Foxwedge’s smart second-up run has them as the $3 third favourite through Luxbet.
Boss, who opted to take the prized mount on Smart Missile over the chance to ride Danny O’Brien’s Australian Guineas – Derby double winner Shamrocker for her first-up run at Caulfield on Saturday, had no shortage of superlatives for the Run To The Rose winner post-race.
“You have seen the birth of a superstar,” he said of Smart Missile.
“I’ve never ridden a horse that could do something like that.
“I didn’t think he could possibly win. On the turn I thought ‘he’s going to be beaten today.
“Even at the 200 metres, he wasn’t going to win but then he caught sight of the bunny (Foxwedge) and he just flew his last 100 metres.
“I’d love to k now his sectional times because they would be out of this world.
“It was like he was Usain Bolt.”
After comparing Smart Missile to the world’s fastest man, Bolt then turned his comparisons to fellow horses and said he reminded him of former champion racehorse turned champion sire Lonhro.
“It was something like Lohnro used to do,” Boss said of Smart Missile’s turn of foot on Saturday to snatch the tight win.
“He’d defy time to win and that’s what this colt has done today.
“I used to rate his sire Fastnet Rock as the best three-year-old sprinter I’d ridden, but this colt is better.
“He’s a freak.”
Smart Missile will not race again before the Golden Rose 2011, so back them now to win the feature before more money pours in for them over the upcoming weeks!
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