The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Fastnet Rock colt Smart Missile was the second-highest rated two-year-old of the season behind Peter Snowden’s Blue Diamond – Golden Slipper double winner Sepoy, and now their Randwick-based trainer Anthony Cummings is preparing the promising galloper for a major Spring Carnival assault.
Smart Missile has had just two career starts to date, but those two starts have produced double black-type success and $240,000 in prize money.
Boasting a plethora of untapped potential, Smart Missile is definitely the most exciting of this year’s juvenile crop and his owners, Eduardo Cojuangco’s Gooree Pastoral Company, can’t wait to see him bloom in the spring.
With connections having seen the potential for a major Melbourne Spring Carnival contender in Smart Missile as a juvenile, Cummings has named the prestigious $500,000 Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day, October 29, as the major aim for the horse as a three-year-old next season.
“I know Mr Cojuangco is pretty keen to look at the Coolmore so no doubt that will be on our schedule,” Cummings confirmed.
“At this stage it’s (Smart Missile’s spring schedule) still a bit up in the air, I want to see how he settles in and how he comes to hand but at this stage there are some pretty nice races around.”
Smart Missile broke their maiden status on debut, winning the $100,000 Listed NSW Breeders Plate (1000m) at Randwick last October by one and a half lengths despite missing the start and racing greenly throughout.
Spelled after their first run, Cummings bought Smart Missile back in the autumn hoping to target the world’s richest race for two-year-olds, the Golden Slipper in April.
Smart Missile proved their Golden Slipper potential beating home Sepoy in the Group 2 Todman Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on a rain-affected track on March 19.
To date, Smart Missile is the only horse to have downed Elusive Quality colt Sepoy on the track, but a setback saw him miss the chance for Golden Slipper glory when they got their leg caught in the barriers and were sensationally scratched.
Cummings was also forced to withdraw Smart Missile from the Group 1 AJC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) on AJC Derby Day due to a minor injury, so their elite level record sits at zero despite their obvious ability.
“He’s back in work at Randwick and I’m looking forward to the spring,” Cummings said.
There is also the chance for Smart Missile to vie for victory in the prestigious $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) at Rosehill on September 10 during the Sydney Spring Carnival, but Cummings is yet to confirm this is on the agenda due to the programming of the rich 3YO’s showdown.
“It does come up early, later this year, which gives us a chance, but he would need a trouble-free preparation to get away with that if we go there,” he said.
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