Vaughn Sigley is hoping Missile Launch can run a strong race in the Listed Ascot Gold Cup (1800m) on Saturday and strengthen his claims for the Ascot carnival
Sigley is keen to get Missile Launch in the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) on November 24, but says the five-year-old needs to boost his rating to be assured of start.
“This might be his last chance to qualify for the Railway Stakes, this is the race I want to win,” Sigley said.
“But with a rating of 83 and the eastern states visitors that may come across for the race, he might struggle to get a start.
“If he is not successful and doesn’t win the Ascot Gold Cup he won’t be going into the R.J.Peters’ Stakes (1500m).
“We’ll look at another race.”
The winner of the R.J.Peters’ Stakes, run on November 17, gains an automatic start in the $1 million Railway Stakes.
Sigley said Missile Launch, a winner of six of 12 races, had recovered well since a hard run in Northam Cup (1600m) two weeks ago.
At his second start this campaign, the Smart Missile gelding finish strongly, but peaked on his run when sixth to Pushin’ Shapes, beaten two lengths.
“I think he needed the run and I was more than pleased with it,” Sigley said.
“He ran home in the fastest final 600m off a track record.
“He pulled up a little bit scratchy on the hard track, but nothing serious.
“There has been no set back and he is happy within himself.
“He is all good and I think he will improve on Saturday.”
Pat Carbery retains the mount on Missile Launch in a bid to win his fourth Ascot Gold Cup.
He had success previously when guiding home Rocky Range (2012), Bit Of Luck (1998) and True Lover (1997).
On the 54kg minimum, Missile Launch has drawn barrier three.
Pushin Shapes’ carries the 59kg top weight.