Triple Missile shapes like an exciting prospect after making an impressive winning debut at Belmont on Wednesday.
In a dazzling first-up display, Triple Missile ran away with the Mumm Champagne Handicap (1000m), scoring by a dominant 2 ¼ lengths.
Displaying a burst of speed in the straight, Triple Missile scored a comfortable victory over Excerpt and Celebrity Witness.
Justifying $2.50 favouritism, Triple Missile’s victory earned lavish praise from jockey, Shaun McGruddy.
“He’s a very good horse,” McGruddy said.
“I’ve been riding for 20 odd years and I don’t rap them up pretty often, but I can give him a good rap.
“I’ve always thought he could make the grade.”
Trainer Todd Harvey said from unassuming beginnings, Triple Missile had taken big improvement in reaching his first race start.
“He’s always been quite a nice horse, but a bit inconspicuous at the start,” Harvey said.
“He’s not an overly big horse and flew under the radar a bit.
“But he’s kept on improving in his training and is a really nice horse.
“He hasn’t put a foot wrong and has done everything we’ve asked of him.
“He’s very professional with a good head on his shoulders.
“He’s pretty push button.”
Harvey said he would let the dust settle on Triple Missile’s victory, but was not opposed to taking a patient approach with the son of Smart Missile.
“He’s had a pretty big prep and is quite immature to look at still,” Harvey said.
“We’ll see how he pulls up, he may have another run or we might pop him away and look at something like the Belmont Guineas later in the season.”
Meanwhile Harvey’s star sprinter Misty Metal is on the verge of returning after undergoing epilglottic surgery.
Harvey believes the throat complaint was a pivotal reason in the mare running a poor 11th at her previous start in the Beaufine Stakes (1000m) last July.
“She will have a scope on Monday and if she gets the all clear she will come back into work,” Harvey said.
“She will come back for the latter half of the Ascot carnival and a race like the Summer Scorcher.
“I’m pretty certain the epilglottic issue was why she didn’t perform up to expectations.”