Silent Command takes out the Listed Morphettville Guineas (Atkins Photography)
It was a welcome victory in more ways than one. Around a month ago, young trainer, Nick Smart, shifted his stable from Adelaide to Ballarat where he currently has 10 boxes on track (with more on the way).
Eager to get off the mark early, Smart has had a frustrating run of placings since the big move, but broke the ‘duck’ on Saturday with his classy 3YO colt, Silent Command.
Even if he had to go ‘home’ to do it!
Racing in the Listed Goldin Farms Morphettville Guineas over 1600m, Silent Command looked very impressive as he ran for home, first overtaking the leaders and then strongly fighting off the challenge of eventual second, Bring Me Roses.
The Guineas takes Silent Command’s tally to two wins from six outings and $76,250 in prizemoney.
“Two starts back, Silent Command had a really big run in the (Listed) Oaklands Plate where he got flattened a couple of times before flying home,” Smart explains. “What was even more impressive on Saturday is that I hadn’t initially planned to run him in the Morphettville Guineas but he’d got cast in his box on the morning of a race over 1500m at Sandown recently and it threw my plans out a bit.
“Still, he really stepped up at Morphettville and he’ll now be set for the (Group Two) Stutt Stakes over 1600m at Moonee Valley on 29 September. That’s been the plan throughout for him.
“We’ve always had an opinion of Silent Command … he’s a lovely horse.”
Silent Command is by the sadly departed Champion Sire, Commands, from the Group winning Face Value mare, Silent Surround, and was bred in South Australia by Don Moyle.
“Don is the majority shareholder in Silent Command, while my dad (and fellow trainer) Bill also has a share,” Smart points out. “It was a similar arrangement with Silent Command’s mum, Silent Surround, who dad trained to win the (Group Three SAJC) Sires’ Produce.
“I actually took Silent Surround across to Melbourne as a 3YO on dad’s behalf, before heading overseas where I worked on farms in Kentucky, England and France.
“I’ve now been training for about four years and have had black type success with horses like October Date, Back On Target and Distillation, but fingers crossed Silent Command can bring home a Group Two.”
Silent Command becomes the 75th individual stakes winner for Commands, who originally stood at Woodlands Stud before the operation was acquired by Darley in 2008.
The change of shingle did nothing to halt Commands’ steady flow of winners and even after he died in July 2014, the success stories continue. Indeed, Silent Command hails from Commands’ final crop, as does New Zealand Group One winner, Melody Belle, and July’s Lightning Stakes winner, Bandipur.
“It just goes to show what sort of influence Commands had in Australian breeding,” Darley’s Alastair Pulford mused. “It was really sad to lose the old boy, but it’s encouraging to see that his son, Epaulette – whose oldest Australian progeny have just turned two – is off to a great start with his northern hemisphere runners, while another of his sons in Group One winner, Holler, has retired to stud this season and will stand at our farm (Northwood) in Victoria.”