Defending TJ Smith Stakes winner Chautauqua has come up with a wide barrier 11 of 15 draw for the 2016 edition of the Royal Randwick sprint feature running on Day 1 of ‘The Championships’ this Saturday.
A below capacity field of 15 sprinters face off in this year’s $2.5 million Group 1 Darley TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) including the Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes-trained Chautauqua who won the event 12 months ago.
Last Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival Chautauqua saluted from barrier eight of 10 with Tommy Berry aboard and returns on the weekend drawn one wider in 11, which produced back-to-back TJ Smith Stakes winners in Phoenix Park (2002) and Spinning Hill (2003).
Berry retains the ride on the Encosta De Lago five-year-old who won Flemington’s Group 1 Lightning Stakes (1000m) first-up this season before his third in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) on March 12.
He hasn’t raced in Sydney since a Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) third to Dissident last April, which followed his short half-head win over Lord Of The Sky in the TJ Smith Stakes.
Team Hawkes have also accepted for Our Boy Malachi (barrier six) who won the Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) in January first-up before a last start fifth to Holler in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) on March 5.
Chautauqua is favourite in TJ Smith Stakes betting at Ladbrokes.com.au again this year followed in the markets by the John O’Shea-trained Exosphere.
Winner of the Golden Rose in September of 2015, Lonhro colt Exosphere is looking to be the first three-year-old TJ Smith Stakes winner since Gerald Ryan’s filly Melito won in 2010.
He has saluted in five of his nine career starts to date including three from five over Saturday’s 1200m distance, and is second-up after a fourth in the Lighting Stakes in February.
Exosphere proved his fitness in a subsequent two and a quarter-length Randwick trial win over 1040m in the wet on March 18 and jumps from barrier four with James McDonald aboard on Saturday.
The only other three-year-old in the mix is Gai Waterhouse’s widely-drawn filly English out in gate 14 with Blake Shinn in the saddle.
Waterhouse has three TJ Smith Stakes wins to her name, but hasn’t prepared a winner since Bentley Biscuit (2007).
English has work to do from the alley and is looking to return to form after a sixth to Griante in the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) at Rosehill second-up on March 19.
Sydney’s leading trainer Chris Waller shoots for his first TJ Smith Stakes win this year saddling-up his Darley Classic winner Delectation in barrier two, Hugh Bowman to ride the four-year-old who finished last in the Newmarket second-up.
Coming off far better Melbourne form and a livewire hope for the Sydney classic is the now Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra-trained Flamberge, a six-year-old son of Exceed And Excel shooting for three straight elite level wins.
First-up at Caulfield he took out the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) in an upset before handing Peter Moody a final Group 1 win with success in last Thursday night’s Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) ahead of his stable change.
See below for the full TJ Smith Stakes 2016 field, barriers and jockeys then head to our No. 1 recommended bookmaker Ladbrokes.com.au for access to all the autumn’s best racing odds and offers!
2016 TJ Smith Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Randwick Racecourse – 02/04/2016
|1||CHAUTAUQUA||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Tommy Berry||11||58.5kg|
|2||FLAMBERGE||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||Damian Lane||8||58.5kg|
|3||DELECTATION||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||2||58.5kg|
|4||TERRAVISTA||Joseph Pride||Brenton Avdulla||7||58.5kg|
|5||OUR BOY MALACHI||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||6||58.5kg|
|6||REBEL DANE||Gary Portelli||Damien Oliver||15||58.5kg|
|7||DOTHRAKI||Peter & Paul Snowden||TBA||5||58.5kg|
|8||FAMOUS SEAMUS (NZ)||Noel Mayfield-Smith||Glyn Schofield||3||58.5kg|
|9||SHIRAZ||Tony McEvoy||Brett Prebble||9||58.5kg|
|10||FAST ‘N’ ROCKING||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Nicholas Hall||13||58.5kg|
|11||KNOYDART||John O’Shea||Sam Clipperton||12||58.5kg|
|12||BOSS LANE||Ron Quinton||Tim Clark||1||58.5kg|
|13||FELL SWOOP||Matthew Dale||Zac Purton||10||58.5kg|
|14||EXOSPHERE||John O’Shea||James McDonald||4||56.5kg|
|15||ENGLISH||Gai Waterhouse||Blake Shinn||14||54.5kg|