If John O’Shea needed a big horse to propel him back into the spotlight after severing connections with Godolphin, he may have found it in the exciting Smart Missile colt Irish Bet.
The least expensive yearling purchased by the China Horse Club in Australia in 2017, Irish Bet made a winning career debut In Saturday’s $500,000 (RL) Inglis Nursery at Randwick.
He signalled his ability when winning a barrier trial in fast time at Warwick Farm on December 5.
Sent off the $5 favourite under Brenton Avdulla, Irish Bet tracked the early speed before finishing strongly to defeat Ragged Rascal (Denman) by one and a quarter lengths with Canyonero (Pierro) another short neck back in third. (photo Steve Hart).
“Any win is an important win but I think a lot of credit has to go to the staff who have put a lot of time into the horse,” O’Shea said.
“I have to thank China Horse Club for sending the horse to me. It was a welcome relief to see a horse like that walk into the stable and it’s been nice to get a result for them.
“He’s been a pleasure to deal with the whole time.
“He’ll go to the paddock on Monday, have a short let-up and then we’ll bring him back for the Skyline or something like that and see if we can get into the (Golden) Slipper.”
The son of Smart Missile was a $55,000 purchase for international bloodstock agent Mick Flanagan from the Middlebrook Valley Lodge draft at session II of the Inglis Easter Yearling Sale.
A half-brother to Listed WATC Gimcrack Stakes winner Fuld’s Bet (I Am Invincible) and Group I BRC Queensland Derby runner-up Rockstar Rebel (Rebel Raider), he is out of the unraced O’Reilly mare Dublin Me Bet, a grand-daughter of Group II winner Double Your Bet who is the dam of the Group III winners Exchequer and Le Destina.
Double Your Bet is a daughter of the marvellous racemare Diamond Shower who garnered Group 1 wins in the VRC Oaks and AJC Sires Produce Stakes
It was the sixth running of the Inglis Nursery on Saturday and Arrowfield stallions have landed the last four.
Smart Missile has 22 lots entered for the Magic Millions and a whopping 36 catalogued for the Inglis Classic.