19 For Smart Missile

Twin Hills Stud-based sire Smart Missile (Fastnet Rock) sired his 19th stakes winner on Saturday when Lindsay Park-trained Crosshaven (3 g ex Irish Colleen by Shinko King) announced himself as a serious contender for the Caulfield Guineas (Gr 1, 1600m) in the Exford Plate (Listed, 1400m) at Flemington.

The three-year-old gelding came into the race off the back of a sixth place finish in the HDF McNeil Stakes (Gr 3, 1200m) – the first defeat of his career having won his first two starts as a juvenile.

However, there was mistaking the winner on Saturday with Crosshaven surging clear to score a comfortable length and a half victory over Bartley (Written Tycoon), while last start Taj Rossi Series Final (Listed, 1600m) winner Cherry Tortoni (Night Of Thunder) finished another three-quarters of a length away in third – the first defeat of his four start career.

Twin Hill’s Olly Tait was very pleased to see the gelding secure his first win at stakes level and said that Smart Missile was set to cover a very high quality book of mares this spring.

“He was two from two as a two-year-old and showed a lot of promise,” Tait told Racing & Sports Bloodstock. “His first up run this season was excellent, which gave us a lot of hope for today, but everytime these horses race at this time of year it is a step up in class and I think he beat some very good horses and he did it very well. It’s very exciting.

“We have been very fortunate that since he [Smart Missile] has come to us he has been very popular every year and he will once again cover another very good book of mares this season. The great thing about Smart Missile is that he has covered large numbers of mares every year and that means people can breed with confidence and that obviously gives us a lot of confidence going in 2020.”

The son of Fastnet Rock (Danehill), whose stakes winners are headed by his Group 1 winning daughter Maid Of Heaven, covered a book of 136 mares last season and will stand again this year for an unchanged fee of $22,000 (inc GST) having stood the 2018 season at $13,200 when he covered 222 mares.

Crosshaven meanwhile was purchased by Lindsay Park for NZ$80,000 at the 2019 New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sale from the Haunui Farm draft and he is one of five winners out of Group 2-winning Shinko King (Fairy King) mare Irish Colleen, making him a half-brother to Group 3 winner Killarney (O’Reilly).

After missing to the late Widden Stud-based sire Sebring (More Than Ready) in 2018, Irish Colleen produced a colt by Valachi Downs-based sire Zacinto (Dansili) the following year.

The fourth placed horse home in the race was stakes-placed juvenile Crown Mint – who is by Twin Hills’ newest resident Hallowed Crown (Street Sense) and Tait said, like Smart Missile, he will also cover a good book of mares in his first year at the New South Wales-based nursery.

“He will cover an excellent book of mares as well,” said Tait. “Crown Mint finished the race off really well today and looks like he will be headed to races over the longer distances this season.”

Hallowed Crown’s abilities as a stallion were advertised last season by his James Cummings-trained daughter Colette, whose two stakes victories were headlined by a win in the Australian Oaks (Gr 1, 2400m) and she made her comeback as a four-year-old by running tenth in the Tramway Stakes (Gr 2, 1400m), a run that looked full of promise, with the filly finishing just over two lengths away from the winner, over a distance that would have been unsuitable.

“Obviously Colette made her comeback last week, in what was just a resumption run, and as the races get longer she will no doubt come into her own – she is a very exciting filly,” said Tait.

Hallowed Crown is standing at Twin Hills for a fee of $11,000 (inc GST).

Article courtesy of RacingAndSports.