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TJ Smith Stakes preview

A newer addition to the Sydney autumn for The Championships, at this level of prizemoney at least, is the TJ Smith Stakes, honouring the greatest trainer in Australian racing history. Another quality field has been assembled, as you'd expect for $2.5m in prizemoney, but the wet conditions throw a bit of a spanner in the works. It didn't stop Lankan Rupee last year though.

Taking the preview is Australian racecalling prodigy Luke Humphreys, @worldracingluke.

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T J Smith Stakes
Randwick, 1200m
$2.5m G1 WFA
R8 1630 local 0630 BST

Form guide
Odds comparison

1: LANKAN RUPEE: Could only manage sixth when trying to defend his title in the G1 Newmarket Handicap but was found to have an inflamed pectoral muscle, so it’s best to forget the whole run. Before that he was his awesome best when winning the G1 Lightning Stakes and of cause he smashed them to pieces in this race last year. If at his best, he’ll be very hard to beat, but has he been a bit rushed to get to the event? Each-way at worst.

2: TERRAVISTA: Third in the G1 Newmarket Handicap, was first-up, and there’s no doubt he’ll be better for the run. Fantastic winner of the G1 Darley Classic last November and he should be cherry-ripe for this. Great chance.

3: CHAUTAUQUA: Unlucky second to Brazen Beau in the G1 Newmarket Handicap, when held up and then storming home late. I think the bend will suit him a bit better than the straight six at Flemington and he gets Tommy Berry for the first time and I think Tommy could be getting instructions saying keep him in the clear. Mind you he probably needs to be held-up in his races so it will be interesting to see what they do with him, regarding how he’s ridden. He deserves a G1 and with a tad of luck, he’s clearly the one to beat.

4: TIGER TEES: Tricky horse. Disappointed when a clear last in the G1 Canterbury Stakes first-up but his Soft ground form is pretty good including a victory in the G2 Warwick Stakes and a second to Lucia Valentina in the G2 Tramway Stakes. 4th in the race last year. Each-way at the very best but a place would be more likely.

5: FAMOUS SEAMUS: Had absolutely no luck at all last start in the G1 William Reid Stakes when never getting a clear run and storming home. Great horse for connections and he defines consistency. Not sure if his as good on Soft ground but he won’t be far away. Place.

6: FONTELINA: Didn’t have the best of runs in the G1 William Reid Stakes first-up and two starts ago was a nose second in that race last year. Soft ground could be a concern. Consistent but place the very best.

7: FAST ‘N’ ROCKING: Massive run in the G1 Galaxy Handicap when storming home for fourth behind Sweet Idea. Prior to that was third in the G1 Oakleigh Plate. Rarely runs a bad race and certainly consider him for the minor end of multiple bets.

8: RAIN AFFAIR: Kicked for fourth in last week’s G3 Star Kingdom Stakes. There’s no doubt he’ll be going straight to the lead. If this race was three years ago, he could stay there, but he’ll most likely get run down. Past his best. Not for me.

9: LORD OF THE SKY: Great run in the G1 Newmarket Handicap when doing the work and holding on for fourth, did have a very nice weight however. He’ll be looking for the lead, but it’s tougher going back to WFA. Tough.

10: SWEET IDEA: G1 Galaxy Handicap winner in great style. This is harder, however, she does get that jockey that can get horses to run “Magic Man Moreira” so that has to be an advantage. Joao Moreira beat the big three, Lankan Rupee, Terravista, Chautauqua, in the G1 Newmarket Handicap, because he was too smart. On ability Sweet Idea will struggle, but, that jockey can increase horse's ability. Soft ground form is okay. Right in it.

11: PRESS REPORT: Brilliant win last start at Warwick Farm but that was in a Benchmark 80 Handicap. This is a lot tougher. Not for me.

Summary
The top three sprinters in the world from last year clash again and what a race this year’s T J should be. (3) CHAUTAUQUA has been unlucky in both the G1 Darley Classic and G1 Newmarket Handicap, up the straight six at Flemington, but going around a bend here could suit him better and this is his chance to get G1 success. (2) TERRAVISTA was the winner of the G1 Darley Classic and was very good, considering his was first-up, in the G1 Newmarket Handicap, he’s right in it. (10) SWEET IDEA gets that half-decent jockey called Joao Moreira and was brilliant in the G1 Galaxy Handicap. She’s right in it. (1) LANKAN RUPEE had a problem in the G1 Newmarket Handicap but has probably been a tad rushed to get to today’s race. If in last year’s form he’s right in it. Would be safe to put (4) TIGER TEES, (5) FAMOUS SEAMUS, (6) FONTELINA and (7) FAST 'N' ROCKING in the minor spots of multiples.

Selections
(3) CHAUTAUQUA – (2) TERRAVISTA – (10) SWEET IDEA – (1) LANKAN RUPEE

Ratings
3 / 2 / 10 / 1 / 5 / 7 / 6 / 4 / 8 / 9 / 11.
The Bet Probably wouldn’t make too much out of this race if we bet Win or Each-Way or Place so Multiples are probably the way to play.
First 4
2, 3, 10 / 2, 3, 10 / 1, 2, 3, 10 / 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10. $56 gets 100%.
OR
Straight Win bet on Chautauqua

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