Special Missile gave Vinery Stud bragging rights at this year’s Upper Hunter Horse Festival with a narrow victory in the $180,000 Scone Cup LR on Friday.
After the Friday morning stallion parade for visitors to the ‘Horse Capital of Australia’, the Vinery team ventured out to the Scone Racecourse to watch Special Missile win the Scone Cup (1600m) in front of a big crowd taking advantage of the local half-day public holiday.
Trained by Richard and Michael Freedman, he held off English import Fierce Impact (Jpn) although winning jockey Sam Clipperton wasn’t sure of the result. “He jumped well and likes to roll along at his own tempo,” he said. “I nursed him as long as I could before closing my eyes and giving him one last push. I’m thrilled he got it done.”
It was Vinery’s second Scone Cup win since it was elevated to black-type status. Testa Rossa gelding Speediness did it the hard way after racing three-wide without cover in 2013.
Bloodstock agent Bill Mitchell, who was born and bred at Yarraman Park in Scone, accepted the trophy on behalf of owner Merrick Chung. He had purchased the Smart Missile sprinter-miler from Vinery for $180,000 at the 2015 Gold Coast Magic Millions.
Vinery partner Greg Perry bred him from El Prado mare Quiet Meadow (USA) who was a Stakes winner in Florida. She’s due again in August after an early cover by Vinery legend More Than Ready.
Back at the Stud on Saturday morning, More Than Ready’s former barn mates were back out for another stallion parade. Around 70 guests to the Hunter Valley visited Vinery to view their stallions at 9am before heading back out to Scone Raceclub for Saturday’s racing.