Click above to watch Smart Missile winning the Todman Stakes (Gr2)
(Photo : Herald Sun - Footage : TVN)
AU$3,5 MILLION GOLDEN SLIPPER (Grade 1)
Rosehill, Turf, 1200m
2 April 2011
South Africans attending the Melbourne Premier sale earlier this month, were awed by the performance of Sepoy, son of the major stallion, Elusive Quality, in his five length romp over the best juveniles of his generation in the Blue Diamond Stakes (Gr1). There was broad acknowledgment among Australian horsemen that they may have seen the best two year old in several decades, but Sepoy’s lines went mildly awry at the subsequent staging of the Todman Stakes in Sydney a week ago, when he was upstaged by Smart Missile, a strapping son of Fastnet Rock.
Tomorrow witnesses the running of the Golden Slipper (Gr1) at Rosehill outside Sydney, at AU$3.5million the world’s richest two year old race, and as you might expect, the principal protagonists are Sepoy and Smart Missile. Sepoy returns to ante-post favouritism at a little over 2/1, though Smart Missile showed he has maintained his sharp form with his Tuesday morning gallop at Randwick under jockey Glen Boss, covering the final 600m in 33,8 seconds. “He’s still learning, and this was another step in him understanding what’s required”, trainer Anthony Cummings told Australian Associated Press, “but for me, it was the way he did it.”
No farm has vaunted the virtues of the Danehill tribe more vigorously than Summerhill, and it will be a revelation to South Africans (though not to Australians) that twelve of the sixteen horse field are grandsons of Danehill, including Smart Missile. Keep an eye out for two others among them, Satin Shoes (a daughter of Flying Spur) and Karuta Queen (Not A Single Doubt). The race is run on a bend over 1,200m, and the draw is obviously of some significance; of those four, Smart Missile occupies the no.5 slot, Sepoy no.10, Satin Shoes no.2 and Karuta Queen no.13. A winning outcome for any colt engaged in the event normally results in outrageous offers from leading studs in Australia for his stud services, and while Sepoy will be beyond reach to any aspiring buyer as he is the property of Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed, any other colt could be up for grabs at a minimum of AU$20-30million. The world will be looking out for the results come Sunday morning.