A stronger and more mature Smart Missile has returned to Anthony Cummings’ stable to begin the build-up to an ambitious autumn sprinting program.
Smart Missile, who remains the only horse to have toppled superstar Sepoy, has five Group One targets pencilled in which could include a clash with champion Black Caviar depending on her schedule.
“He came back in yesterday and looks really good,” Cummings said.
“He’s broader across his backside, broader across the shoulder and he just looks really healthy and well.”
Cummings is aiming the exciting colt at the Lightning Stakes (1000m) first-up on February 18 at Flemington.
The Newmarket Handicap (1200m) and William Reid Stakes (1200m) are also pencilled in before a return to Sydney for the TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) and All-Aged Stakes (1400m).
It was announced on Tuesday that Sheikh Mohammed’s two glamour colts Sepoy and Helmet would venture overseas to compete on Dubai World Cup night on March 31 in the care of their Australian trainer Peter Snowden before transferring to one of Godolphin’s trainers for the European summer.
Cummings said Smart Missile, who is owned and raced by Eduardo Cojuangco’s Gooree Stud, was unlikely to be set for an international campaign during his next preparation.
“I don’t think so this year, but we’ll talk to Mr Cojuangco and see whether he’d like to do that later,” Cummings said.
“I think that’s a pretty big preparation (Melbourne and Sydney) if we go along and live up to that, so we’ll just see how that pans out first.”
Smart Missile won the Breeders Plate on debut and then returned in the autumn to win the Group Two Todman Stakes with Sepoy second.
The colt was scratched at the barrier before the Golden Slipper and sent for a spell.
He returned as a three-year-old with a last-to-first success in the Group Three Run To The Rose (1200m) at Rosehill.
He was a close second to Manawanui in the Group One Golden Rose (1400m) before heading to Melbourne where he was a luckless 10th against older horses in the Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m).
The decision was made to keep him to sprints in the autumn after his fifth over 1600m in the Caulfield Guineas.
Cummings said it would be interesting if Smart Missile and Black Caviar met in the autumn.
“They’re both very good horses and she’s got the record on the board that we would like to have, so it would be interesting to see,” Cummings said.
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