Missile Stakes 2023 Top Selections and Best Bets
The Missile Stakes have been a constant on the Sydney racing calendar since 1978 where the 1100m spring began life as a Principal race run in Sydney’s Western Suburbs at Rosehill Gardens.
The race itself is run from horses that are three years and older under weight for age conditions and is one of the first big races of the season for sprinters.
In 2010 the Group Two contest was increased to a distance of 1200m and in 2013 the race was run at Randwick where it has taken place for the past ten years. 2023 marks a return of the Missile Stakes to its original home of Rosehill Gardens with the Group 2 seeing prize money boosted to $300,000 for the winning sprinter.
Past editions of the Missile Stakes have been contested by some of the best sprinting talent in Australia with the likes of Lonhro, Commands and Nordic Prince all winning the Missile Stakes during their careers.
In more recent years it has presented a useful stepping stone for trainers and connections to prepare there stable stars for bigger Spring targets with the likes of Sweet Idea, Eduardo and Pierata all winning editions of the 1200m contest before going on to claim bigger prizes such as The Shorts or the Coolmore Classic.
2023 Missile Stakes Race Overview
The 2023 Missile Stakes is shaping up to be an excellent renewal of the race with a number of previous Group and Listed race performers lining up to win one of the first Group race titles of the year.
When markets opened mid week there were two clear favourites in the betting with Joseph Pride trained Big Parade and I Am Me for the Maher and Eustace stable both leading the betting at $3.10.
However as the week progressed punters have been quick to push the returning Big Parade into a clear favourite with I Am Me sitting on the second line of betting for the $300,000 Group Two Race.
Outside of these two runners there are the returning Godolphin pair of Golden Mile and Ingratiating who have both operated at Group Level with solid returns. Both sit on the third line of betting at $8 and are the only other runners in the race holding single figures in betting.
The best of the rest sees last start winners Ucalledit for Kris Lees and Wewillrock John O’Shea sitting at $15 in the market while stablemate of Big Parade, Dragonstone sits at $17 in betting given his recent fast finishes gaining a number of places.
2023 Missile Stakes Top Selections and Best Bet
The 2023 edition of the Group Two Missile Stakes will be contested by 11 runners who will tackle the Rosehill Gardens 1200m course under Weight For Age conditions. To narrow down the field we have picked out our Best Outside Chance, The Main Danger and our Best Bet.
2023 Missile Stakes Best Outside Chance - 6. Dragonstone (11)
Trainer - Joe Pride
Price - $19.00
Dragonstone is an interesting type who is already deep into a summer campaign and this is likely to be one of his final races before a spell meaning he comes into the race rock hard fit and ready to go.
Last time out he finished 2nd of 8 in the July sprint and only finished a nose off the winner when flying late as an $8.50 chance. If he can emulate that performance, it is a step up in grade, he should be flying late.
The barrier 11 stall doesn’t worry as he’s likely to get near the back anyway and he maintains the same weight as his last start so if jockey Tom Sherry can get him going late he might be worth an each way shout.
2023 Missile Stakes Main Danger - 4. Big Parade (4)
Trainer - Joe Pride
Price - $2.70
As our main danger for the 2023 Missile Stakes we’re going with the race favourite Big Parade who is looking to have his first start back at the race track in over 450 days.
Big Parade recently returned to the racetrack in a 900m trial with Group and Listed Level horses where he demolished his opposition by a 21 length winning margin. Admittedly that day the result was exaggerated however it was still a strong ride under hands and heels from jockey Josh Parr.
Before that Big Parade had mixed his form in Group One races, finishing second in the 2022 Galaxy as well as winning the Group 3 Sydney Stakes during the same campaign.
He looks to be fit enough to land a blow here but just how fit we don’t know. The trial was impressive but coming back off a 450 lay off we’re prepared to look away from him on this occasion at $2.70.
2023 Missile Stakes Top Selection - 2. Ingratiating (9)
Trainer - James Cummings
Price - $8.00
Back from a brief spell in Victoria, our top pick for the Group Two Missile Stakes is Ingratiating who comes into the race having won the Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes and looking to kick on here at his third start.
The Godolphin Stallion is already a dual Group One placegetter with over $1.8m in prize money banked and is one of the few runners in the field to have form at the highest level.
He looks to have a good draw to track the speed and also appears to have the quality over these runners. With two runs under his belt and not a great deal of depth in the race we’re happy to take the $8 about for Ingratiating as our top pick.
2023 Missile Stakes Best Bet - Back Ingratiating Win or Eachway