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While controversy surrounded the defeat of Smart Missile in last Saturday’s Golden Rose in Sydney, trainer Anthony Cummings saw enough in the performance to be confident Group 1 glory will be theirs down in Melbourne with the galloper now installed as the 2011 Caulfield Guineas favourite.
Things didn’t go to plan in the $1 million Golden Rose on the weekend, Smart Missile getting caught up in the early interference which saw hoop Glen Boss make the poor decision to settle back off the pace with the eventually beaten favourite.
While Boss copped criticism for the ride, blame he was quick to pass onto Golden Rose rival Foxwedge and their subsequently suspended hoop James McDonald, Smart Missile was still classy enough to produce a blistering final sectional time running the last 600 metres better than the all-the-way Golden Rose winner Manawanui, to come within a short-neck of victory.
“When everything became untidy at the start, Bossy (Glen Boss) changed his mind,” Cummings explained when evaluating the Golden Rose run.
“We had planned to be a lot more forward than where we ended up.
“He’s run the best sectional (600 metres), he’s run the best race but the best ride won the day.”
Manawanui’s Golden Rose victory was certainly courageous and proved their last-start win by over four lengths in the Group 3 Up & Coming Stakes (1300m) at Warwick Farm was no fluke.
The bookmakers have been quick to react in regards to futures betting on the next classic three-year-olds race of the spring, the $1 million Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m).
Scheduled to run at Caulfield on October 8, the 2011 Caulfield Guineas is shaping up as a supercharged re-match between the top three Golden Rose runners.
Ron Leemon’s emerging star Manawanui had their Caulfield Guineas odds at Luxbet slashed from $15 into $7.50 after their Rose success.
Caulfield Guineas betting, however, is now lead by the unlucky Rose runner-up Smart Missile.
Pre-Golden Rose, Cummings’ formerly unbeaten Fastnet Rock colt was at a Caulfield Guineas price of $5, sitting second behind Peter Snowden’s dual Group 1 hero Helmet who was the $4.60 Guineas favourite.
Having shown their ability to step up to the 1400 metres and now likely the mile without issue, Smart Missile now sits top of the Guineas odds at Luxbet paying $4.
“At least on that run…we know 1400 (metres) and a mile (1600m) won’t be an issue,” Cummings said of Smart Missile after the Golden Rose.
Helmet, another unlucky Golden Rose runner, was awarded third after jockey Kerrin McEvoy won a protest against Foxwedge and McDonald.
While on paper third place looks good form from Helmet, the Exceed And Excel colt didn’t give themselves a chance on the weekend having missed the start in the Rose which has seen them drift out to $6.50 in the Caulfield Guineas markets at Luxbet.
Connections have confirmed Helmet will look to bounce back next start in the $175,000 Group 3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) on September 24.
Smart Missile, however, may be given another earlier shot at a thoroughbred major with Cummings considering either the Caulfield Guineas Prelude or the $350,000 Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on the same day for the horse’s next-up run depending on his progress.
“His first run in Melbourne will either be the Guineas Prelude or the Rupert Clarke Stakes and we’ll work it out from there,” Cummings said.
Despite the criticism and controversy Boss copped post-Golden Rose, the former Melbourne Cup winning jockey will retain the prized mount on Smart Missile throughout their Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival assault.
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