Classy sprinting mare Alpha Miss scored a big boilover with an upset Schillaci Stakes 2015 result in Melbourne on Caulfield Guineas Day earning a Manikato Stakes aim after beating home the odds-on favourite Lankan Rupee.
Just six lined-up in this year’s $400,000 Group 2 Schillaci Stakes (1100m), all the money on five-time Group 1 winner Lankan Rupee.
He was quick out of the barriers and hit the front early, jockey Craig Newitt keeping the $3.99 million earner right up on the pace but very wide during the early stages as he settled to lead the field round before finding the rails by the 600 metres.
Settled on his tail was Lucky Owners mare Alpha Miss having her first run for local horseman Robert Smerdon who got her ready for her return to racing with a nice trial at Cranbourne on September 21 where she crossed fourth to Lankan Rupee.
As they came around the turn for home, Lankan Rupee stayed off the fence and by the 200 metres he looked in real trouble, not travelling as quickly as needed with Alpha Miss ($7.50) and her hoop Craig Williams fast closing the gap.
She ran past Lankan Rupee ($1.55) 100 metres from home and didn’t stop, flying first over the line to win by three-quarters of a length over Ryan Balfour’s in-form roughie Cashed ($61) who put in a huge effort from well back in the field to snare second.
In his third disappointing run in a row, Lankan Rupee looked very flat, holding for third to finish off the Schillaci Stakes trifecta another three quarters of a length back again.
With the win Alpha Miss continued the ace form of mares in the Schillaci Stakes becoming the seventh in 12 years to take it out, impressing winning hoop Williams with the effort.
“Quite amazing,” Williams said post-win.
“I really liked the way she felt.
“Robert had a choice of two races (for her first-up). He backed his decision with her and now she’s come up with a good Group 2 for her to take to the breeding barn.”
It was her first run in over 12 months, her latest start back in September last year when fourth to First Seal in the Group 2 Tea Rose Stakes (1400m).
Smerdon had her rock-hard fit for her terrific return off the lengthy let-up in a huge training effort as the mare heads towards an elite level run to try and increase her value at stud before retiring to the breeding barn.
“Her record is fantastic,” he said.
“She’s a serious racehorse and a very talented mare.
“Everything she’s done since she arrived at our place has been impressive.
“She’s done the job today.”
Next on the agenda Smerdon has Alpha Miss heading to Moonee Valley on Cox Plate Eve, Friday October 23, for the $1 million Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) where the last mare to win was Sea Siren (2012).
“I thought if she might measure up to the Manikato and this gives as the right time frame into that,” he said.
If she wins the Manikato Stakes, Smerdon confirmed plans to retire her to racing for a career as a broodmare.
“If she could get a Group 1 on her CV it would be job done,” he said.
“She’s as fit as we can get her.”
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2015 Schillaci Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Caulfield Race 2 – 10/10/2015
|1||5||ALPHA MISS||Robert Smerdon||Craig Williams||–||5||56.5kg||$7.50|
|2||4||CASHED||Ryan Balfour||Dwayne Dunn||0.75L||3||58.5kg||$61|
|3||1||LANKAN RUPEE||Mick Price||Craig Newitt||1.5L||6||58.5kg||$1.55F|
|4||3||THE MONSTAR||Brett Cavanough||Richard Bensley||1.6L||2||58.5kg||$31|
|5||6||I LOVE IT||John Salanitri||Stephen Baster||2.6L||1||56.5kg||$16|
|6||2||SHIRAZ||Tony McEvoy||Hugh Bowman||6.6L||4||58.5kg||$5.50|