As far as first-up runs for a new stable go, Triple Missile could not have been any more impressive following a stunning return victory at Ascot on Saturday.
Triple Missile flashed big potential as a three-year-old for previous trainer Todd Harvey and looks set to continue that progress under Lindsey Smith’s guidance.
Justifying red-hot favouritism, Triple Missile settled back for Brad Rawiller, but came with a strong burst from the 200m and won by 2 ¼ lengths eased down.
The son of Smart Missile now has four wins from five starts, with a third behind Kissonallforcheeks in Bunbury’s Breeders’ Classic (1400m) adding to his overall record.
Racing first-up after a good trial, Triple Missile’s 1000m handicap win gave Smith the second leg of a double after Apple Schnapps posted a narrow victory. Smith admitted Triple Missile had been a pleasant surprise packet since entering his stable.
“I thought he was pretty good and I thought he trialed pretty good,” Smith told Tabradio. “I didn’t know much about him to be honest, but he came in in excellent form and condition.
“The owners want to have a look at him coming to Melbourne one day. He’s a bit better horse than I anticipated. As soon as you gave him a tickle around the bum he seems to drop into another gear. Yeah, he’s an exciting horse.”
Smith is hopeful Triple Missile’s return effort can lay the platform for a Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) bid on November 27. Tabtouch were quick to react to Triple Missile’s resumption. In All-in markets he is at $15, firming from his $26 opening quote.
With COVID-19 clouding how many eastern states horses will be across for the Ascot carnival, Smith believes an opportunity exists for Triple Missile.
“I don’t like getting too far in front of myself, but I didn’t really expect the horse to win that good,” Smith said. “We’ll work out a path and talk to the owners, but because it’s worth a lot of money and I think you are going to struggle to get anyone to go there.
“It’s going to be a nice hard time with the restrictions. If he keeps getting up the ladder, we’ll give him another start before asking serious questions about going to the Winterbottom or come to Melbourne.
“If it’s restricted to West Australian horses, you would be mad not to go in it.”