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Smart filly delivers Group 1 missile for Twin Hills

3 min read
The no vacancy sign was above the stable door of Smart Missile (Fastnet Rock) some time before his first Group 1 siring success with Maid of Heaven in the G1 Spring Champion S., but it was still a royal result for Twin Hills Stud.

An unbeaten juvenile and winner of the G2 Todman S., Smart Missile is standing at the historically-rich property Twin Hills, owned by Olly and Amber Tait, located at Cootamundra between the Hunter Valley and North East Victoria.

Smart Missile relocated to Twin Hills this year and breeders have flocked to the stallion, whose quality daughter Maid Of Heaven credited him with his maiden Group 1 winner when she beat the colts in the Spring Champion S., at Randwick.

“We’ve been given a great opportunity by Arrowfield Stud and Gooree, who own the horse, and we’re enjoying the success,” Olly Tait said.

“The reception has been fantastic and he was fully booked a long time ago. It’s great that he’s fulfilling his potential.” – Olly Tait.

“The reception has been fantastic and he was fully booked a long time ago. It’s great that he’s fulfilling his potential.”

A rich history

Tait is one of the most recognisable faces in racing and breeding circles and during his 15 years at Darley, he established them in Australia and went on to manage Sheikh Mohammed’s thoroughbred farms in Japan and the United States.

In 2010, he relocated to England where he was responsible for their global operations.

Tait was also elected to the Breeders’ Cup Board of Directors, Members and Trustees in 2009 and has held the positions of President of the Hunter Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association in Australia and as a Director of Aushorse Ltd.

“We agreed to buy Twin Hills at the end of 2016 and started here in April last year.” - Olly Tait.

Watch: Twin Hills

“We agreed to buy Twin Hills at the end of 2016 and started here in April last year,” Tait said.

“We started from scratch and any person who starts a business knows it’s challenging when you’re going into an established market against competitors who do a very good job,

“To get a Group 1 winner is really enjoyable and we’ll be selling yearlings at the Magic Millions and the Classic Sale next year.

“We’ve had some success with mares bought ourselves, we have about 25 of our own and we’ve now got a large number of broodmares on the farm all told.”

Standing alongside Smart Missile is the Group 3 winner and Group 1 placegetter Odyssey Moon (Snitzel).

“We stood Bobby’s Kitten and Odyssey Moon last year, but Bobby’s Kitten didn’t come back and we were lucky enough to get Smart Missile,” Tait said.

“Odyssey Moon has been well-received and he’s got a good group of shareholders and Snitzel keeps flying the flag for him.”

Odyssey Moon

Twin Hills, a familiar farm

Tait is no stranger to Twin Hills as he had a hand in running the operation when it was in the Darley ownership.

The stud was first established by Ferd Calvin before being bought by media personality Mike Willesee in the early 1980s. It was renamed Trans Media Park Stud and home to stallions Snippets and Rubiton.

In 1993, the property became part of Jack and Bob Ingham's Woodlands Stud and with a large number of their mares and stallions including Strategic, Domesday and Quest For Fame (GB) (Rainbow Quest {USA}).

The stud was sold to Sheikh Mohammed's Darley in 2008 when he acquired the Ingham's bloodstock interests.

Maid Of Heaven winning the G1 Spring Champion S.