At Ascot racecourse in Perth, Western Australia, Widden Stud's Gr1 Golden Slipper-winning stallion Stratum (Redoutes Choice-Bourgeois, by Luskin Star) added a black-type success when 6YO Australian-bred gelding Battle Hero (Stratum-Fromm, by O'Reilly) overcame an impost of 60kg to claim the sixth stakes win of his career in the $100,000 Listed Cyril Flower Stakes (1200m) for 3YO+, defeating Royal Missile & Infathuated. Bred by prominent WA owner and breeder Bob Peters but raced by a syndicate headed by Gangemi Thoroughbreds, Battle Hero improved his record to 10 wins (including the Gr3 Roma Cup, Listed Pinjarra Classic, Listed Summer Scorcher, Listed JC Roberts Stakes & Listed Lex Piper Stakes) and 10 placings (including the Gr3 WATC RJ Peters Stakes, Gr3 Prince of Wales Stakes & Gr3 Belmont Sprint) from 31 starts for $766,550 in earnings.
Smart Missile is back on top of the Australian Second Season Sires' list after quality Saturday wins at Ascot & Bendigo and a valuable Gr3 placing at Caulfield. However, the day began across the Tasman with Cha Siu Bao who followed up his impressive maiden success at Te Rapa last month with a three-length win at Ashburton for Hermitage Thoroughbreds and the stable of Lance O'Sullivan & Andrew Scott. Cha Siu Bao is now a $8 chance for next month's Gr1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas at Riccarton. Next up for Smart Missile was Redgum Racing's 2YO colt Strela. He defied his double-figure starting price to make an excellent debut at Bendigo, settling quickly in front and extending his lead in the straight to out-gun Tarima & Margot. The time of 50.88 was a new race and track record for 900 metres. At Caulfield, Rocketeer continued his excellent spring form when second to Good Standing in the $500,000 Gr3 Caulfield Classic (2000m), and was a touch unlucky it wasn't the other way round. Shuffled back on the turn while leader Good Standing shot clear, he did well to cut the winner's margin to three-quarters of a length. The Mick Price-trained gelding's four seconds - two in black type company - since his maiden win in August keep him on track for the $1.5 million Gr1 Victoria Derby at Flemington on 29 October. Smart Missile's fruitful day ended at Ascot in Perth where well bred 3YO filly Royal Missile - a half-sister to dual Gr1 winner Turffontein from the Dr Grace mare Spirit of Grace - sprinted home stylishly from the rear of the field to claim her second win of the season. Rocketeer, Strela and Royal Missile added almost $150,000 to Smart Missile's earnings - enough to take him past Foxwedge with a new total of $669,618. He comfortably heads the list by winners with 15, and he has just cracked his first million dollars as a sire, thanks largely to his eight stakes performers.