Smart Missile Returns For Run To The Rose

August 22nd, 2011

The Run To The Rose is taking on extra significance just about every year and in 2011 it’s going to a whole new level.

Not just will it be an excellent precursor to one of the most enthralling Golden Rose races ever, it will also be our first chance to witness some returning stars.

Undoubtedly the one on top of the list is Smart Missile, the only horse to ever run down the barnstorming Sepoy.

He’ll be first up as a three year old in the 2011 Run To The Rose and looks in fantastic shape after a track gallop on the course proper at Randwick.

The fact the colt was allowed on the main track did ruffle a few feathers but after the unlucky career they’ve had with Smart Missile so far Anthony Cummings is probably deserved to at least get that.

”It was all above board,” Cummings said.

”He worked over half a mile, [with] the usual rider on and ran home in 11.5 seconds for the last furlong. It was a pretty strong gallop and he hit the line good.

”It was the right day to do it and congratulations to the Australian Turf Club for allowing me to do it.”

Smart Missile will be up against it this season with Sepoy returning in blistering form, he’ll get a sighting of the other Darley star Helmet this Saturday.

”A talented horse [Helmet] and he has a very good record but my view is he is not as good as Smart Missile,” Cummings said.

Smart Missile won the Breeders Plate on debut in October of last year before returning to cause an upset win of Sepoy in the Todman Slipper Trial on a heavy track.

He went from there to the Golden Slipper but was scratched at the barriers in dramatic circumstances that naturally left connections, jockey and trainer fuming.

”All that is a lifetime ago and I’m looking forward to next month’s $1 million Golden Rose,” Cummings said.

”He kicks off on Saturday, the first run back as a three-year-old. There is some trepidation … how they’ve improved … how they’ve come back … but we are pretty happy.

”As I’ve said before, I’ll be surprised the day he gets beaten, his trial was awesome and Glen Boss has a big opinion of the horse. Any time he goes out to do any sort of work the horse reinforces it.”

While Smart Missile is proven in the wet, Cummings says he’d prefer something drier this weekend and is confident the weather is likely to improve and give them a much better surface than last weekend.

”The horses that have already had a run have a fitness edge but we certainly won’t have to deal with a heavy track like yesterday,” he said.

”The horses coming out of the San Domenico have an advantage, a horse like Foxwedge, but my horse has had the wood on those types and I hope it remains the case.”

Aeronautical is another top fancy in this weekend Run To The Rose from the smaller stable of Lionel Cohen.