Smart Image enhances Guineas credentials with dominant win

Exciting colt SMART IMAGE announced himself as a serious contender for next month’s $2m Magic Millions 3YO Guineas with an explosive first-up win at Canterbury on Friday night.

Given a superb ride by Kerrin McEvoy, the son of Smart Missile made it three wins from four starts with a cosy half length success over Catapult, defying a tricky draw and giving weight away to older horses in the process.

Smart Image jumped away well from his wide barrier and McEvoy immediately took him back to the rear of the field, before coming across heels to the sit on the inside rail. He travelled sweetly thereafter and ended up three pairs pack, before improving his position slightly as the field approached the turn for home.

At the top of the straight McEvoy was unable to get Smart Image to the outside and the pair briefly looked in a spot of bother, but when a gap presented itself towards the inside the colt surged through it impressively, showing an electric turn of foot in the final 100m for a dominant win on the line.

After impressing both his jockey and Peter & Paul Snowden, Smart Image is set to have one more run before a trip north for the lucrative Magic Millions 3YO Guineas on the Gold Coast in January.

“He jumped out fine but I didn’t have the speed to get a spot where I would have liked, so I had to ride for Plan B,” McEvoy told Smart Image’s ecstatic owners in his post-race debrief.

All Smiles! Kerrin McEvoy couldn’t hide his delight after partnering Smart Image to victory at Canterbury on Friday – Credit: Bradley Photos

“I came back and we rode the rail, he got in a lovely rhythm and travelled really well around the corner. It was his first run around Canterbury and he did it quite well.

“Once we got the gap he picked up really sharply. I can’t wait to see him go north [to the Magic Millions 3YO Guineas] and see how he goes.

“It was a great win and onwards and upwards for the prep.”

Smart Image’s delighted owners enjoy some post-race celebrations

“That was a huge effort,” a delighted Peter Snowden added.

“He was good late and through the line he was full of running, which is great to see going forward, knowing that his grand final is going to be over 1400m in a month’s time.”

Having won both of his starts as a two-year-old at Warwick Farm and Rosehill respectively, Smart Image’s sole defeat came in the Group 3 Up And Coming Stakes in August, when he failed to handle the heavy track.

Friday’s win took his career earnings past the $100,000 mark and congratulations to all his owners on another terrific success.

He is a colt with an exciting future!