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Australian racing’s benchmark horse Black Caviar has had her chances of posting win number 25 on the trot increased drawing barrier one in an 11-horse field for the 2013 TJ Smith Stakes at Royal Randwick on Australian Derby Day this Saturday.
The 14-time Group 1 champion Bel Esprit mare races third-up for the autumn this weekend after back-to-back victories in the Lightning Stakes and William Reid Stakes in Melbourne, her first Sydney run in a year being the $1 million Group 1 Darley TJ Smith Stakes (1200m).
The now six-year-old won last year’s TJ Smith Stakes when mowing down the always-honest Hay List to win the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival sprint classic by three lengths.
She will face her toughest field of rivals in a long while when she looks to defend her TJ Smith Stakes crown on Saturday, including five other individual Group 1 winners, with the only real concern being the current track conditions at Randwick.
The course proper is currently rated a Heavy (8) and if it doesn’t dry into the Dead range by race day Moody has admitted they will be scratching the day’s drawcard contender.
“At least the rain is falling now and not at the end of the week,” Moody said.
“The weather is tipped to be fine on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, so we’ll worry about it then.”
Should she run Black Caviar will again come face-to-face with the injury-prone Hay List who was a surprise acceptor, John McNair’s Statue Of Liberty seven-year-old drawn in barrier nine with Glyn Schofield engaged.
Along with Black Caviar the only other last-start winner in this year’s TJ Smith Stakes field is then the Jason Warren-trained Bel Sprinter who looks her main rival having drawn one beside her in barrier two with Hugh Bowman to ride.
Sharing the same sire as Black Caviar the Bel Esprit five-year-old enjoyed their breakthrough Group 1 victory first-up at Rosehill last month when overcoming barrier 11 of 13 to win The Galaxy (1100m) by an impressive 3.5 lengths over Snitzerland and Decision Time.
While Group 1 winning Snitzel filly Snitzerland has not been accepted to back-up this weekend, The Galaxy runner-up Decision Time has with Clarry Conners’ Foreplay gelding, runner-up in the 2010 Golden Slipper, drawn nicely in barrier four.
The other major players looking to give the raging favourite a go then include the Joe Pride-trained Rain Affair (barrier five) coming off a fourth to Pierro in the Canterbury Stakes, triple Group 1 winning mare Sea Siren and Peter Snowden’s young Commands colt Epaulette who returns to racing here having last run third to Black Caviar’s half-brother All Too Hard in the Caulfield Guineas back in October.
Check out the full 2013 TJ Smith Stakes field, barriers, jockeys and weights in the table below.
Betting on all the Randwick races this weekend including the TJ Smith Stakes odds are due for release at bookmaker.com.au shortly so make sure you’re ready for the action by signing up with them today!
2013 TJ Smith Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Royal Randwick Race 9 – 5:10pm (AEST) – 13/04
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||1212x212x4||HAY LIST||John McNair||Glyn Schofield||9||58.5kg||117|
|2||649x1579x1||BEL SPRINTER||Jason Warren||Hugh Bowman||2||58.5kg||112|
|3||16122x48x4||RAIN AFFAIR||Joseph Pride||Corey Brown||5||58.5kg||110|
|4||1x1x150x23||DECISION TIME||Clarry Conners||James McDonald||4||58.5kg||108|
|5||112x466x07||ATOMIC FORCE||Darren Smith||Joshua Parr||6||58.5kg||105|
|6||714x423x06||TITLE||Joseph Pride||Michael Rodd||3||58.5kg||105|
|7||111x185x30||HOWMUCHDOYOULOVEME||Con Karakatsanis||Brenton Avdulla||7||58.5kg||104|
|8||1223x6x383||ONTHELOOKOUT||Barbara Joseph & Paul Jones||Carl Spry||11||58.5kg||90|
|9||111x111x11||BLACK CAVIAR||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||1||56.5kg||130|
|10||x119x129x8||SEA SIREN||John O’Shea||Jim Cassidy||10||56.5kg||114|
|11||x120x3113x||EPAULETTE||Peter Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||8||56.5kg||107|
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