Top three-year-old Smart Missile will be kept to sprint distances and will avoid champion mare Black Caviar this autumn.
The boom on the Anthony Cummings-trained colt turned to minor yelp after two failures during Melbourne’s Spring Racing Carnival in the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke (1400m) and Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) both at Caulfield.
Instead of persisting, Cummings sent Smart Missile to the paddock, but the son of Fastnet Rock is expected to return to racing in the 2012 Group 1 Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington on February 18 in search of redemption.
Smart Missile’s program will include the 2012 Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m) and the 2012 Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield.
And in Sydney the 2012 Group 1 T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on April 14 and the 2012 Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m).
“We will be training him as a sprinter at first,” Cummings said.
“That is not to say we won’t test him over further in the future again, but we feel as a three-year-old he will be suited in the sprints.
“His record says he has only won up to 1200m but in our minds he won – well, definitely should have won – over 1400m.”
Smart Missile is expected back in the stable at the end of the month.
“Andrew (Baddock) said he has done very well out on the farm and it will be good to have him back to see the improvement he has made physically,” Cummings said.
“He comes back in at the end of November and then we have 12 weeks to prepare for the Lightning.”
Black Caviar is expected to resume racing in the 2012 Australia Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley (1200m) on January 27.
She will press on to the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington and Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley.