Anthony Cummings says there will be no excuses this time for highly-talented colt Smart Missile who is after Group One glory in Saturday’s $1 million Caulfield Guineas.
Cummings was very happy with the favourable barrier draw in barrier two for the son of Fastnet Rock who will wear winkers for the first time at his first try at 1600m.
Smart Missile failed by a short neck when runner-up under Glen Boss in the Group One Golden Rose (1400m) when he had to come from last of the six runners at Rosehill.
Cummings has great faith in the three-year-old who went back to last for Brett Prebble after jumping from the outside barrier (17) and didn’t have luck go his way when 10th as favourite to Toorak Toff in the Group One Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield.
“He’s still the only horse to beat Sepoy and that was at his second race start when the other horse was well practised and had more experience,” Cummings said.
“So he has stepped up to that grade and I think we will again on Saturday.
“But at this level you can’t afford to make mistakes and we’ve had a couple of those at his last two starts.
“I keep saying it wasn’t the horse’s fault, it was just what he was asked to do.
“On Saturday if the breaks go his way he’s good enough to win.”
Corey Brown, who won the Breeders Plate (1000m) at the colt’s debut at Randwick a year ago and was aboard him in a pleasing gallop at Caulfield on Tuesday morning, takes over the reins on Saturday.
Cummings said a Cox Plate start would be determined by how Smart Missile performed in the Guineas.
“Given that looks a sensible thing, that’s what we’d like to do,” he said.
Meanwhile, Kerrin McEvoy is hoping to turn his Caulfield Guineas luck around on race favourite Helmet after being beaten on favourites Viscount, who was 11th to Lonhro in 2001, and Denman who was seventh to Starspangledbanner in 2009.
“Things haven’t gone to plan but I’ve got another good horse to ride and it’s going to be a great race and one I’m looking forward to it,” he said.
“He’s a different sort of horse to (stablemate) Sepoy. He’s (Helmet) one of the classiest three-year-olds I’ve ridden.”
A dual Group One winner as a two-year-old, the son of Exceed And Excel was a safely held third in the Golden Rose but found his best form with a sizzling 3-1/4 length win in the Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m).
“He’s got a huge motor and he’s been ticking away nicely,” McEvoy said.
McEvoy said connections hadn’t yet talked about a Cox Plate start for Helmet.
“We’d like to get over this weekend and see how he progresses from there,” he said.
McEvoy said he would like to have Helmet in the first three from the outside draw in barrier eight.