Anthony Cummings says the difference between Smart Missile winning and losing the Golden Rose came down to a split-second decision at the start.
“When everything became untidy at the start, Bossy (jockey Glen Boss) changed his mind,” Cummings said.
“We had planned to be a lot more forward than where we ended up.
“He’s run the best sectional (600 metres), he’s run the best race but the best ride won the day.”
While Boss found himself at the back of the six-horse field, Glyn Schofield took the eventual winner Manawanui to the front.
It was a winning move as Smart Missile and second favourite Helmet became involved in a scrimmage caused by Foxwedge shifting to take a run where stewards said there was no room.
Adding to the Smart Missile camp’s woes was the colt’s erratic finish as he drifted to the outside of the track as he tried to haul in the winner.
“I’m not too concerned about that,” Cummings said. “He was under a lot of pressure because he had to make a long chase from where he was.”
All that was of little consolation to Cummings and he will send Smart Missile to Melbourne confident a Group One win will come in next month’s Caulfield Guineas.
“At least on that run today we know 1400 (metres) and a mile (1600m) won’t be an issue,” he said.
“His first run in Melbourne will either be the Guineas Prelude or the Rupert Clarke Stakes and we’ll work it out from there.”
Boss didn’t accept defeat as well as the trainer.
“A few things didn’t go our way,” Boss, laying the blame on New Zealand apprentice James McDonald, said.