Smart mare Alpha Miss scored a major upset when she knocked off the odds on favourite Lankan Rupee in the Group 2 $200,000 Mitsubishi Electric Schillaci Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield today.
Alpha Miss ($7.50) was having her first run for trainer Robert Smerdon and Craig Williams was tracking Lankan Rupee ($1.55 favourite) from the outset before claiming the lead at the 200m mark.
The outsider of the field Cashed ($61) also ran home strongly to finish three quarters of a length second, relegating Lankan Rupee back to third spot by the same margin.
Smerdon decided early in the week to take on Lankan Rupee in the Schillaci Stakes after Alpha Miss galloped impressively along side of the Mick Price trained sprinter last Saturday at Caulfield.
“They worked up together and that probably gave us the encouragement to come here today,” Smerdon said.
“We were thinking about coming but he was obviously the stumbling block but when she matched up so well against him we decided to come here and she has done the job.”
“We were hoping that she might measure up for the Manikato and this gives us the right time frame.”
“If she could get a Group 1 on her CV, it would be the job done.”
The Group 1 $1m Manikato Stakes (1200m) is run at Moonee Valley on October 23, on Cox Plate eve.
Alpha Miss had good three year old form in Sydney during the 2014 Spring Carnival which included a second to Winx in the Group 2 $175,000 Coolmore Furious Stakes (1200m) at Randwick and Smerdon said that she had shown plenty of promise since being transferred into his stable.
“Everything she has done since she arrived at out place has been impressive,” Smerdon said.
Craig Newitt had Lankan Rupee quickly out of the barriers and crossed to the lead, staying two horses off the inside fence with Williams trailing the favourite on Alpha Miss.
Lankan Rupee led the small field into the straight but clearly tired over the final fifty metres to just hold on for third.