Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
While all the current conversation surrounding Anthony Cummings’ beaten Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes favourite Smart Missile is on their Caulfield Guineas target Saturday week, another major Melbourne Spring Carnival date is looming for the Group 1 maiden with the 2011 Cox Plate also on the radar.
Fastnet Rock colt Smart Missile has twice missed their chance to record a thoroughbred major, meaning there is value to found on them in the futures Cox Plate betting at Luxbet.
Smart Missile suffered their first defeat when second to emerging star Manawanui in the Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on September 10 in a muddily run race.
They were again denied an elite level victory last Saturday at Caulfield, Smart Missile’s horror barrier 17 draw hampering their run in the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stake (1400m) where despite reeling off excellent sectionals, they could only manage to finish four and a half lengths away 10th to upset winner Toorak Toff.
On October 8 they get the chance to finally put the record straight when they contest the $1 million Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m), Smart Missile sitting as the $3.80 second elect behind the weekend’s Guineas Prelude winner Helmet ($3.40).
They are, however, at an even more generous price for the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) running at Moonee Valley on October 22.
Cox Plate betting at Luxbet is currently lead by in-form New Zealand galloper Jimmy Choux paying $7, with last year’s Cox Plate third placegetter Whobegotyou next in the markets at $8.
Following on the third line of the Cox Plate odds is the Peter Snowden-trained Helmet and Jim Colan’s recent Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes winner Rekindled Interest both paying $10.
Smart Missile is next at $12 through Luxbet, equal odds with Underwood Stakes winner Lion Tamer and this weekend’s 2011 Epsom Handicap fancy Sincero.
While the showcase Moonee Valley feature, the Cox Plate, is still a way off, smart punters know that the sooner you place your futures bet on a big spring showdown, the better odds you will lock in and right now Smart Missile’s Cox Plate price is ripe for the picking at Luxbet.
While yet to win at elite level, there is no denying that Smart Missile has untapped potential and their talent is set to shine as they step up in distance.
Injured hoop Glen Boss was not aboard Smart Missile in the Sir Rupert due to a nasty shoulder injury sustained last week when falling off the late Crystal Lily, the ride going to Singapore-based Brett Prebble.
Expected to need a month on the sidelines before being cleared to return to the saddle, Boss will also miss the prized mount on Smart Missile in the Caulfield Guineas.
The triple Melbourne Cup winning hoop, famous for his three straight Melbourne Cup victories on Makybe Diva, has also been ruled out for reuniting with Smart Missile in the 2011 Cox Plate.
The weight-for-age conditions of the Cox Plate will see Smart Missile carry just 49.5kg, a weight Boss won’t be able to make even if he has recovered from his injury.
“The prognosis is a little worse than what we originally thought and I’d say he will be out for at least a month,” Boss’ racing manager Reece Murphy said.
Prebble won’t be called upon again as a replacement however, for either the Caulfield Guineas or Cox Plate, with Cummings admittedly frustrated with the jockey’s performance last Saturday.
“I thought he rode it pretty negatively from the gates,” Cummings said of Prebble in the Sir Rupert Clarke.
“He didn’t make much of an effort to be positive. It was particularly frustrating.”
Cummings then has looked to Smart Missile’s original jockey Corey Brown for the Cox Plate ride.
Brown was aboard Smart Missile for the youngster’s debut run and win in the Listed NSW Breeders Plate (1000m) at Randwick on October 2 last year.
“He won the Breeders Plate on him, going forward, and the horse has been snagged back ever since,” Cummings said.
“The horse has an extra string in his bow, it’s just no one of late has used it.”
The Breeders Plate was Brown’s last time aboard Smart Missile, but are already he is eagerly preparing to ‘waste’ and get down to the colt’s light-weight for the Cox Plate.
“It isn’t going to be easy but at least I’ve got sufficient time to do it properly and work towards being the right weight on the day,” Brown said.
“I haven’t needed to ride lower than 51kg since I won the Melbourne Cup on Shocking (2009).
“I got down that low without too many hassles.
“He (Smart Missile) is definitely a special animal, there is no doubting that.
“I think he has just been getting too far back in his races, so it will be my job to make sure he can overcome that.”
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