Mick Price’s flying Victorian Lankan Rupee will look to bring their undefeated autumn form to Sydney on Saturday when they jump favourite in the TJ Smith Stakes 2014 field at Royal Randwick.
This year’s $2.5 million Group 1 Darley TJ Smith Stakes (1200m), running as Race 7 at 3:50pm (AEST) on Doncaster Mile Day, has attracted a bumper final field of 21 acceptances made up of 18 starters plus three emergencies.
It’s shaping up as a super sprint showdown too with plenty of class, Lankan Rupee looking more and more like the one to beat after coming up trumps with gate one in the TJ Smith Stakes barrier draw.
The Redoute’s Choice four-year-old has won their past five on the trot remaining unbeaten since October last year, including all three of their Melbourne Festival of Racing starts.
After a four length Rubiton Stakes effort first-up in February the progressive champ went on to become a dual Group 1 winner this autumn taking out the Oakleigh Plate – Newmarket Handicap double.
Saturday they make their Sydney debut where from the inside alley they will be fighting to stay out of trouble in the big field that will likely face off on a Slow – Heavy rated track.
Runner-up to Lankan Rupee in both those Melbourne Group 1s, Tony Gollan’s Queensland galloper Spirit Of Boom is also out for a shot at the TJ Smith Stakes on Saturday but from the opposite end of the field.
They’ve drawn barrier 15 and will come into 13 if all three emergencies fail to get a run.
After their second in the Oakleigh and Newmarket, the Sequalo six-year-old enjoyed a Group 1 triumph of their own in a narrow victory over Fontelina in the William Reid Stakes at Moonee Valley on March 21.
That’s a good race to come via in recent years too with two TJ Smith Stakes winners having run in the William Reid in the past 10 years including Black Caviar who took out the double last year.
William Reid runner-up Fontelina is another TJ Smith Stakes acceptor, the Anthony Cummings-trained Testa Rossa gelding running from barrier three with Hugh Bowman jumping aboard.
Along with Lankan Rupee and Spirit Of Boom, there are four other last start winners accepted for Saturday, three of which are among the guaranteed starters.
The first is Tom Hogan’s top raider Gordon Lord Byron (barrier 11).
The Byron six-year-old debuted down under on March 29 at Rosehill taking out the George Ryder as a 20-1 outsider but definitely won’t be found at those odds here.
With top international form, the ability to power home over the mile, wet track ability and Craig Williams staying on they are a definite chance to stay undefeated in Australia with another win.
Joe Pride then saddles up two last start champs in Tiger Tees (barrier four) who took out the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) on a Slow (7) from two weeks ago and fellow Group 1 champ Steps In Time (barrier 13) coming off a win against her own kind in the Coolmore Classic from March 22.
Pride is also represented in the TJ Smith Stakes field this year by See The World out wide in 18.
Another top sprinter high up the TJ Smith Stakes betting markets is then the Chris Waller-trained Zoustar out to improve on a disappointing first-up effort when eighth to Appearance in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) in mid-March.
They’re tipped to improve on that below par effort however, the Golden Rose – Coolmore Stud Stakes double winner from the spring having won a Rosehill trial on March 31.
Other top hopes then include Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes champ Rebel Dane who is first-up here after a five month break, Ryan’s recent Black Caviar Lightning champ Snitzerland and Villa Verde coming off a third to Tiger Tees in The Galaxy.
Check out the official TJ Smith Stakes 2014 final field, barrier draw and jockeys in the table below.
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2014 TJ Smith Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Randwick Race 7 – 3:50pm (AEST) – 12/04/2014
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||432x2111x7||BUFFERING||Robert Heathcote||Damian Browne||2||58.5kg||118|
|2||42311274×1||GORDON LORD BYRON (IRE)||Tom Hogan||Craig Williams||11||58.5kg||114|
|3||6x1311x111||LANKAN RUPEE||Mick Price||Craig Newitt||1||58.5kg||115|
|4||x32124x221||SPIRIT OF BOOM||Tony Gollan||Michael Rodd||15||58.5kg||111|
|5||240x14157x||REBEL DANE||Gary Portelli||Glen Boss||7||58.5kg||110|
|6||590x80x191||TIGER TEES (NZ)||Joseph Pride||–||4||58.5kg||104|
|7||32x668x948||BEL SPRINTER||Jason Warren||Chad Schofield||9||58.5kg||110|
|8||x97x92x245||SHAMEXPRESS (NZ)||Danny O’Brien||Damien Oliver||17||58.5kg||108|
|9||10x9214x02||FONTELINA||Anthony Cummings||Hugh Bowman||3||58.5kg||108|
|10||0x63135x39||FAMOUS SEAMUS (NZ)||Noel Mayfield-Smith||Tim Clark||8||58.5kg||107|
|11||1x21430x64||SESSIONS||Peter Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||20||58.5kg||106|
|12||660x29x1x9||AERONAUTICAL||Lionel Cohen||John Kissick (a)||5||58.5kg||104|
|13||1330718×27||SEE THE WORLD||Joseph Pride||–||18||58.5kg||104|
|14||x127x82x12||SNITZERLAND||Gerald Ryan||Brenton Avdulla||21||56.5kg||111|
|15||070x348x21||STEPS IN TIME||Joseph Pride||–||13||56.5kg||108|
|16||112x4111x8||ZOUSTAR||Chris Waller||Jim Cassidy||6||56.5kg||109|
|17||13x2x11172||SWEET IDEA||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry||19||54.5kg||104|
|18||70x2440x13||VILLA VERDE||Anthony Cummings||James McDonald||12||54.5kg||84|
|19e||x11413x140||IRISH FLING (NZ)||Guy Lowry & Grant Cullen||–||16||56.5kg||102|
|20e||33×1515541||FLAMBERGE||Peter G Moody||–||14||58.5kg||102|
|21e||x1110x227x||PERON||John P Thompson||Joao Moreira||10||56.5kg||98|