The Phoenix 2012 – Tipping Guide

The Group 1 TJ Smith Plate for two-year-olds is just two weeks away and a number of juveniles get an early chance to impress when lining up in tomorrow’s Listed 2012 The Phoenix (1350m).

A strong 14-horse field has been named to contest the $100,000 event that will run as the third race on the action-packed Doomben program.

Current favourite is John O’Shea-trained filly Hoss Amor ($2.30) who is fresh off a runner-up finish in the Listed Hampden Stakes.

Hampden Stakes third place-getter Saturn Rock will also start on Saturday and is second best in the betting at $4.00.

The only other contender to fall under double figures is New Zealand colt Choice Bro who looks set to enjoy some extra distance after finishing fourth in the Hampden Stakes (1200m).

Don’t know much about this young field? Keep reading as the work has been done for you and the have developed our best tips for this TJ Smith leadup race.

The Winner

#1 Choice Bro $5.50

We are tipping this New Zealand colt to relish the 1350-metre distance in what will be his second start on Australian soil.

He produced a reasonable run over 1200 metres when fourth in the Hampden Stakes but finished strongly and would have got a lot closer to the front with an extra 150 metres.

The son of Choisir has three wins from seven starts and showed his ability at the extra distance when winning the Group 1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes in late March (1400m).

The Placings

#10 Hoss Amor $2.30 and #5 Courtz Boy $16.00

Hoss Amor is a very promising filly and will be better for the Hampden Stakes run but the question remains on how she will handle the step up to 1350 metres.

There is no doubting the General Nediym two-year-old has a big future and will be ridden by James McDonald out of an excellent barrier three position.

A bit of a step up in class here but Helen Page-trained Courtz Boy comes into the race in tremendous form.

Whether or not he can handle the jump to Listed level racing is still to be seen but he is chasing a third-straight victory and is fresh off a dominant 1.8 length win in the Gold Coast earlier this month.

The Roughie

#14 Caliente $31.00

This filly is a bit of an unknown quantity with only two starts to her name and yet to race further than 1100 metres but she absolutely destroyed them last start when winning by three lengths on the Sunshine Coast.

Drawn reasonably in barrier two with Larry Cassidy on board if she produces a similar performance she may just go close here.

Agree with our selections? Or maybe you think Hoss Amor will be too good? Whoever you pick the best place to back a winner is

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