Coolmore sire Fastnet Rock has five entrants for the Golden Slipper headed by Gooree Pastoral colt Smart Missile.
Gooree owner Eduardo Cojuangco will make amends for a gut-wrenching loss in the Golden Slipper 11 years ago if Smart Missile wins Australia’s juvenile championship at Rosehill on Saturday.
His filly Crowned Glory looked a certain winner of 2000 Golden Slipper until Belle Du Jour appeared from nowhere.
Smart Missile (2c Fastnet Rock – Comical Smile by Comic Strip) firmed for the Golden Slipper after a brilliant track gallop on Tuesday. He was timed to run 600 metres in 33.80 seconds which left trainer Anthony Cummings on Cloud 9 in the countdown to the $3.50 million race.
Smart Missile was the first winner from Fastnet Rock’s third crop when he scored a one length victory in the Listed Breeders’ Plate at Randwick in October. And he looked a genuine chance for the Golden Slipper after defeating boom colt Sepoy in the G2 Todman Slipper Trial a fortnight ago.
Fellow Fastnet Rock colt Foxwedge (John O’Shea) lost his unbeaten record in the Todman Trial but can turn the tables without surprising.
The Fastnet Rock fillies Fast And Sexy (Chis Waller), Mosheen (Leon Corstens) and Empress Rock (Bart Cummings) will all start at long odds but are capable of running a drum given the right run.
It could be a case of third time lucky for Fastnet Rock in the 2011 Golden Slipper.
His first-crop colts Wanted (10th) and Zikmann (Last) failed in 2009 and he only did marginally better with Hinchinbrook (4th) and Elimbari (Last) in 2010.