The Chris Munce trained Smart Meteor will continue his step up in distance when he contested the Group 3 $250,000 Grand Prix Stakes over 2206m at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Munce admitted that he took a gamble when he tested Smart Meteor over 2000m at his next start after winning a 1300m Toowoomba Maiden but the Smart Missile three year old lapped up the extra distance and went on to beat his nearest rival, Don’t Waiver, in a three year old Handicap at Doomben on December 7.
“He did a good job. I probably backed his stamina to be able to win that day. His races had always suggested that he would be better suited out over a trip,” Munce told Sky Racing.
“I knew he had a good turn of foot at the end of a race so it was a bit of a gamble but he certainly stayed the 2000m out really well.”
Munce said that Smart Meteor had come through the Doomben win in great order and worked strongly on the course proper at Eagle Farm on Tuesday morning.
“Very sound, very clean winded. He had a bit of a burn around here on the course proper this morning (Tuesday). He got a little bit lost on his own out wide but I thought he was still quite sharp at the end of his work.”
“Overall I was pretty happy with him.”
“He’s had a bit of an easy time since Doomben so he needed a good gallop this morning (Tuesday). He went three quarter pace from the 1200m and I made him sprint up the last 100m which was probably the best part of his gallop.”
Smart Meteor will be facing similar opposition in the Grand Prix Stakes with several of the runners that finished behind him at Doomben are among the twelve nominations for the set weights race for the three year olds.
Sydney trained three year olds Chains Of Honour and Mission Phoenix are joint favourites at $3.60 for the Grand Prix Stakes in early betting Ladbrokes.com.au with Smart Meteor on the second line of betting at $5.
Early betting for the 2019 Grand Prix Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.60 Chains Of Honour, Mission Phoenix, $5 Smart Meteor, $6 Don’t Waiver, $8 Mosshiki, $10 Savvy Valentino, $12 Southern Swing, $14 Tears Of Love, $19 Alignment, $51 Real It In, $101 Private Detective, $151 Haleighozae.