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Trainer David Hayes and the Lindsay Park Stable will be hoping for another impressive showing from Smart Missile sire Smart Elissim this weekend in the $200,000 Group 2 Run to the Rose (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens.
Running a race Smart Missile won in thrilling come-from-behind fashion in 2011, Smart Elissim has already added two victories in three starts to his growing resume of impressive performances.
Stepping down to the 1200m trip for the third time in his young career, the three-year old gelding showed similar tendencies to his father during his last run at Royal Randwick on August 15.
Jumping from barrier 3, Smart Elissim was caught along the fence between two horses with 100m to go, but a clever shift back to the outside from jockey Jason Collett saw the duo place third.
It was an encouraging run in a field that featured five experienced Group 3 horses. Smart Elissim ran the fastest final 400m of the race, showcasing a devastating (and eerily familiar) turn of foot to lose by only 1.5L to eventual winner, Master Ash.
The improvement across Smart Elissim’s three starts can’t be stressed enough. From looking a little green in his first preparation, he now looks like more than just another miler.
Of course, Saturday’s race at Rosehill will feature a much more elite caliber of horses to contend with.
After claiming second in the $600,000 J.J. Atkins Stakes at Doomben back in August, Chris Waller trained Zousain resumes first up, and enters as the $4.20 second-elect with Ladbrokes.
Better yet, $147,000 San Domenico Stakes winner Graff opensas the $2.60 favourite, hoping to keep his unbeaten run across three starts alive.
It would take an incredible ride from jockey Luke Currie this weekend to feature in the placings, but a handy barrier 2 draw certainly makes Smart Elissim a chance at $3.60 to finish second or third.
Nominated for the $2 million Caulfield Guineas and the $5 million Cox Plate in October, if Smart Elissim can channel Smart Missile’s run home from seven-years ago and find himself in a lucky position down the straight, who knows what might happen.
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