A quality field of super-fast horses have been nominated for the Group 1 2012 TJ Smith Stakes that will take place at Sydney’s Royal Randwick Racecourse this Saturday.
One of the headline acts is highly successful Sydney four-year-old Rain Affair who will be out to score his first Group 1 victory after winning 11 times in lower level races.
In his only shot at Group 1 racing, the Joseph Pride-trained horse finished sixth to Hay List in the Newmarket Handicap but Pride believes his time could come this weekend, especially if there is some rain around.
“I’m really happy with the way he has come through his last start and I look forward to maybe getting some rain this week in the lead up to the TJ,” Pride said.
Despite Pride hoping for a wet track, Rain Affair proved he can run on all surfaces last start when winning the Challenge Stakes in good conditions at Rosehill.
One obstacle Rain Affair may have to overcome to get his first Group 1 victory is star filly Atlantic Jewel who will be racing for the first time since being spelled last October.
The three-year-old has been dominant in her unbeaten five starts with the highlight coming in October’s Group 1 Schweppes Thousand Guineas which she won by three lengths ahead of Mosheen.
However, the Mark Kavanagh-trained horse may not even line up in the TJ Smith with the trainer keeping his options open by also nominating her for the Group 2 Sapphire Stakes which would provide an easier first up race.
One horse who is a near certainty to line up against Rain Affair this weekend is John O’Shea-trained colt Foxwedge.
The much-hyped colt was sold in a stud deal worth $13 million last week and will be one of the top challengers in the $1 million event this Saturday.
Headed for Royal Ascot after this autumn’s campaign, the lucrative stud deal came on the back of his excellent upset win over Hay List in the William Reid Stakes at Moonee Valley on March 23.
A total of ten horses have been nominated for the feature race and others include last-start winner Hallowell Belle and Joseph Pride-trained mare Ladys Angel.
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TJ Smith Stakes 2012 – Nominations
|1||ATLANTIC JEWEL||Mark Kavanagh||110|
|3||GRACEFUL ANNA||David Pfieffer||98|
|4||HALLOWELL BELLE||Gai Waterhouse||99|
|5||LADYS ANGEL||Joseph Pride||98|
|6||MASTER OF DESIGN||David Payne||–|
|7||MID SUMMER MUSIC||Peter G Moody||103|
|9||RAIN AFFAIR||Joseph Pride||–|
|10||VARENNA MISS||Tony Noonan||104|