Sir Michael Stoute is targeting next month’s Hong Kong International meeting with Smart Call after deciding not to make the trip to America for the Breeders’ Cup meeting.
Owned by Jessica Slack Jell, former top South African Gr1 winner Smart Call was trained for the meeting and had the Breeders’ Cup Turf as her first preference and the Filly & Mare as her second choice.
However, in a late change of plan she did not get on the plane as there was a slight risk the six-year-old might not have got into either race.
Stoute said: “I had discussions with the owners and we decided not to send her but to wait for one of the races at the Hong Kong International meeting next month.”
Smart Call has performed with credit in quality races like the Middleton Stakes at York, the Duke of Cambridge Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Prix Jean Romanet at Deauville.
She is the first Gr1 winner for Mauritzfontein stallion Ideal World, the sire of Hermoso Mundo who dominated South Africa’s best staying races during the 2016 / 2017 season, as well as the sensational Gr3 winner Zen Arcade.
Smart Call carries a complete Mauritzfontein pedigree, being out of a mare by South African star Horse Chestnut – the latter stamping himself as a broodmare sire of note in the United States.
Smart Call’s trainer in South Africa, Alec Laird, took South African-bred London News to victory in Hong Kong in the 1997 Gr1 QEII Cup.