Tomorrow Group 1 racing for the spring season commences with Rosehill hosting the $1 million Golden Rose, and the two contenders that continue to come up in the Golden Rose 2011 tips are unsurprisingly Smart Missile and Helmet.
Since Golden Rose betting opened at Australia’s No. 1 online bookmaker Luxbet, the money has flowed in for Peter Snowden’s two time Group 1 winning Exceed And Excel colt Helmet.
Originally Helmet, winner of the AJC Sires Produce Stakes – Champagne Stakes double last season, was at a Golden Rose quote of $4.40.
As race day approaches, however, the punters are starting to really get behind the Darley-owned hero.
Despite their brilliant record, Helmet has earned the title of being a bit of a “headcase” when it comes to his on-track antics.
Snowden adds blinkers to their gear for the 2011 Golden Rose showdown, and as word of this spreads the number of bets on Helmet continues to rise.
Helmet has the credentials, the record and is the only Golden Rose hopeful to have run and won over the 1400 metres.
However, now seems to be the time to get back on the favourite’s bandwagon.
Anthony Cummings’ explosive Fastnet Rock colt Smart Missile was the only one of the six Golden Rose acceptors punters wanted in the early markets.
Undefeated in their three starts to date, Smart Missile caught the eye of racing fans around the country when they fought from last to first to score an ultra-impressive last-start victory over fellow Rose rivals Foxwedge and Helmet in the Run To The Rose (1200m) on August 27.
After opening odds-on at $1.85 in the Golden Rose 2011 odds at Luxbet, Smart Missile has drifted out to $2.
As his price drifts, Smart Missile becomes more and more attractive to back.
This has happened so many times before.
An excitement machine explodes onto the scene and there is lots of early money on them.
Then doubts begin to emerge as the connections of the favourite’s rivals start to trash talk and talk up their own runners.
While there is no doubt the likes of Helmet, San Domenico Stakes winner Foxwedge, Up And Coming Stakes champion Manawanui, the untapped Aeronautical and even $101 Golden Rose roughie Flight Of Pegasus are all exciting in their own way, Smart Missile really is the drawcard contender here.
He has been nothing but impressive since his debut, minus the controversial Golden Slipper scratching at the barriers.
He has beaten the best in Helmet’s star stablemate Sepoy, he has beaten the main Rose dangers before and according to Cummings Smart Missile is also doing everything right behind the scenes as well.
“Glen (Boss) was pretty happy after riding him,” Cummings said of a track gallop Smart Missile was given at Randwick earlier in the week.
“He doesn’t want to change anything and nor do I.
“Everything has been perfect, I don’t want to change anything.
“He took a good step off it (Run To The Rose win), coped with his work since, hasn’t turned a hair.”
The only query is the distance, Smart Missile yet to step up to the 1400 metres.
However Smart Missile showed his scintillating late burst first-up over 1200 and looked to have put more on his rivals if there were more metres to run.
Helmet will likely lead, Smart Missile will settle just off the pace and then click through the gears to run them down and run away with the win, that’s the Golden Rose tip.
“You’ve got to give your respect to your opposition otherwise you get belted,” Cummings said.
“The speed will either come from Foxwedge or Helmet, given the barriers.
“That’s the way it looks and we’ll see how it plays out.
“Glen Boss has to earn his money.”
While odds-on is never attractive to take, the Golden Rose tip is that Smart Missile is ready to race and their price at Luxbet is now looking very attractive.
So head to Luxbet today for the best Golden Rose odds and access to markets for all the upcoming spring features.