Australian Sires: Smart Missile
Smart Missile has attacked the new season with a barrage of winners, most notably Special Missile, who recorded his fifth consecutive win at Rosehill on Saturday.
And he made it look easy. Settled close to the pace in the Benchmark 80 race over 1500 metres, the 4YO gelding rounded the turn just behind The Pharoah then edged closer before jockey Blaike McDougall loosened his hold at the 250-metre mark. Special Missile made light of his 59kg and dashed clear to score by 1.3 lengths from Mapmaker and The Pharoah, cutting out the final 600 metres in 34.23.
A $180,000 Bill Mitchell buy for owner Kenneth Chung from the 2015 Magic Millions Sale, Special Missile was bred by Vinery Stud shareholder Greg Perry, also the breeder of Group 1-winning sisters Atlantic Jewel and Commanding Jewel. Special Missile’s dam Quiet Meadow (by Sadler’s Wells’ son El Prado) won three races in the US including a Listed event and counts Champion Sprinter Drefong and Champion 2YO Colt Action This Day among her relatives.
Trainer John Thompson said of Special Missile, “He’s a real little gutsy bugger that gives his all every time he goes around. You can’t instil that in horses and it’ll take him a long way.”
Special Missile’s win came after successes by 3YO Smartedge at Warwick Farm last Wednesday, and 4YO Malkara & 3YO Island Missile the previous Saturday, and was followed by 4YO Gadfly & 3YO Masculino, who scored on Sunday at Wyong and Cranbourne.
That takes Smart Missile’s Australian tally for August to eleven winners of 15 races, with earnings of more than $400,000 giving him an early lead on the 3rd Season Sires’ table.
Australia’s most popular young sire in many years, Smart Missile retired to stud in 2012 having captured the imagination of the racing community with his undiluted brilliance at two and three.
His first yearlings were snapped up by the leading judges in 2015, generating healthy multiples of his fee for many breeders and Smart Missile wasted no time posting his first stakeswinner, New Zealand filly Sassy ‘N’ Smart. Back at home, his seven winners and five stakes performers secured the 2015/16 Australian First Season Sires’ title.
With liftoff achieved, Smart Missile attacked the 2016/17 season with a barrage of fresh talent, including 2YO Group winners Debellatio & I’ll Have A Bit, and 3YO filly Exocet, city winners such as Smart Coupe, Special Missile & Thaad and promising Hong Kong 3YOs Encore Boy, Rocketeer & Sam’s Love. By season-end he topped the Australian Second Season Sires’ table by Winners (66) and Wins (93) and was third on the Earnings list with prizemoney of $3.2 million.
His 4 stakeswinners and 8 other stakes performers rank Smart Missile alongside Snitzel at the same stage, and more than 320 foals in his third and fourth crops give him all the firepower required to stay on that track. That firepower was quickly evident in the first month of 2017/18, thanks to a barrage of talent including Special Missile (whose five consecutive wins include 4 in Sydney), Bombardier, Island Missile, Malkara, Masculino, Missile Coda and Smartedge.
Not surprisingly, Smart Missile’s yearlings have continued to find favour in 2017, with 42 lots at Magic Millions and Inglis Easter averaging better than five times his unchanged fee, and his top price of $300,000 achieved twice at Magic Millions. Buyers of his third-crop yearlings include Blueblood Thoroughbreds, Boomer Bloodstock, China Horse Club, Darby Racing, Form Bloodstock, Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott, Hong Kong Jockey Club, John Foote, John Warren, Lindsay Park Racing, Prime Thoroughbreds, Proven Thoroughbreds, Redgum Racing & Triple Crown Syndications.