I’ll Have A Bit set Group One mission in Adelaide – McArdle keen to take chances in The Goodwood with Smart Missile filly

A setback early in the autumn campaign of three-year-old filly I’ll Have A Bit (Smart Missile) firstly led to an unlikely victory in the Euclase Stakes (Gr 2, 1200m) (see replay below) and now trainer John McArdle is chasing more Adelaide success in Saturday’s The Goodwood (Gr 1, 1200m). The Mornington-based McArdle yesterday confirmed that I’ll Have A Bit, who was sent off at odds of $151 before winning her second Group race at Morphettville on 5 May, will take her place in the $1,000,000 Group One sprint race against older horses. The trainer has elected to chase a Group One win with the daughter of Smart Missile  (Fastnet Rock) instead of the Proud Miss Stakes (Gr 3, 1200m) on the same day.

Chris Parnham, who guided I’ll Have A Bit to victory last start, will retain the ride in The Goodwood where the filly looks set to clash with Group One winners Vega Magic (Lope De Vega), Santa Ana Lane (Lope De Vega), Secret Agenda (Not A Single Doubt) and Viddora (I Am Invincible), while multiple Group two winner Super Cash (Written Tycoon) is also expected to line up in the Group One. Fellow three-year-old Viridine (Poet’s Voice), who ran third in the Euclase Stakes, and the Darren Weir-trained quartet Handsome Thief (Shamardal), Lucky Hussler (Husson), Stellar Collision (Star Witness) and Voodoo Lad (I Am Invincible) are also set to contest The Goodwood.

McArdle told ANZ Bloodstock News that I’ll Have A Bit, who also won a Group Three winner as a juvenile and finished second in the Moonee Valley Fillies Classic (Gr 2, 1600m) last spring, had earned a shot at The Goodwood. “She has beaten Booker and was Group Two-placed in the spring over a mile and I thought she ran well in the Redelva (when fifth) leading into the Euclase,” McArdle said. “We didn’t think she would win like she did, but I didn’t think she was a 150-1 shot either.” McArdle suggested I’ll Have A Bit would be spelled after Saturday’s race. “She had a little setback, so we didn’t have her up and going to run in the longer races in the autumn,” he said. “We were thinking about going to Queensland, but to her owner’s credit, he said have a crack at the Euclase after the Redelva and she got the job done. “We were looking towards the Proud Miss, to be honest, but after she won the other day we decided to have a crack at The Goodwood because she is ballot free. “We will probably look towards the Myer in the spring depending on how she comes back,” he said. “She is Group Two-placed over a mile.”

McArdle purchased I’ll Have A Bit for $48,000 at the 2016 Inglis VOBIS Gold Yearling Sale from the Basinghall Farm draft for owner Terry Martin and the filly could be joined in Adelaide on Saturday by stablemate Okay Boss (Street Boss) in the SAJC National Stakes (Gr 3, 1200m). Also owned by Martin and family, Okay Boss was placed at Geelong at his first start in January before finishing unplaced at Ballarat later that month. McArdle is weighing up whether to have Okay Boss resume in the National Stakes, the same race I’ll Have A Bit won last year.

Rival Victorian trainer Andrew Noblet also confirmed Super Cash (Written Tycoon) would run in The Goodwood after being held up for a run in the UBET Classic (registered as Robert Sangster Stakes) (Gr 1, 1200m). The three-time Group Two winner finished 11th, four and a half lengths behind the winner Shoals (Fastnet Rock), the race on the 5 May. “Because she came through that run really well and was never really tested in that run, we’ve left her there (Adelaide) to go around again on Saturday,” Noblet told Racing.com yesterday.

Thronum (Snitzel), who will join the Sun Stud roster at the conclusion of his racing career, is also likely to run in The Goodwood after being a late scratching from last week’s Doomben 10,000 due to a head wound. Owner Sun Stud is believed to be chartering a plane from Brisbane to Adelaide, so the Lindsay Park-trained four-year-old can take his chance in the Group One race.

Story by Tim Rowe for ANZ Bloodstock News

Race Replay: Smart Missile’s I’ll Have A Bit wins the G2 Euclase Stakes at Morphettville 5th May.