MISSILE STAKES - 1200m, Rosehill R8
Racing NSW opens their Group racing account for the season with the Missile Stakes on Saturday. Lonhro is the biggest name to win the race over the journey, but recent years have seen genuine Group 1 horses like Eduardo, Alizee, Pierata and Sweet Idea take it out.
Big Parade is the early favourite, and what an intriguing galloper he is. It’s been almost a year and a half since we’ve seen him race – since then he has been transferred to Joe Pride, who has a well earned reputation as a master of getting the best out of horses transferred to his stable. That reputation was bolstered when this Deep Field gelding won his latest trial by 21 lengths.
Big Parade has placed at Group 1 and Group 2 level in his time, as well as won a Sydney Stakes against good horses. He likes to roll along in his races, so we could be looking at Eduardo 2.0 here. If he proves up to that level, he’ll win this eased down.
Who are the main challengers?
I Am Me became a bit of a boom horse last summer, winning four races on end by comfortable margins and then starting single figures in the Oakleigh Plate. She wasn’t up to that level then, but is back six months later as a more mature five-year-old mare. This Maher/Eustace speedster also doesn’t like to muck around, so the two favourites may well be eye-balling each other up front.
James Cummings and Godolphin will be represented by Golden Mile, and they need to decide whether Ingratiating is running here or at Flemington.
Golden Mile won the Caulfield Guineas in a blanket finish, and the question was how would he measure up against older horses in the autumn. The jury is still out, but he did run respectably in the Expressway and Canterbury Stakes early last prep, before finishing last in two big races – the George Ryder and Doncaster. Things were against him in those two races, and the set weight and penalties format of this race isn’t in his favour either.
Ingratiating is a good measuring stick for this grade of race, and was back in form last start when taking out the Bletchingly. You just know he’ll be in the first four somewhere at a handy price, if running here.
Rocketing By is a decent horse that could surprise. Ucalledit has hit a rich vein of form out of nowhere. Dragonstone is becoming a bit of a “nonny” with six placings in his last seven starts, yet no wins since June last year.
Wewillrock deserves his place in the field, and likes to go fast but will have the company of two good ones on the speed, which may use up more of his petrol than supporters would like. Argentia is another transfer to Joe Pride. She’s always been highly touted, yet has taken a while to learn the caper and never quite put it together consistently. We’ll see if she’s a changed mare now.
The pace will be strong here, which could set it up for those behind if the leaders get it wrong. But we also know that Rosehill can often play to those up front. Either way, it’s going to be a good one, and the winner will be talked about as an Everest contender.
Selections: 1.Big Parade 2.I Am Me 3.Argentia 4.Ingratiating
* Odds Correct At Time Of Posting. Check Playup Website For Latest Odds