A field of the season’s top sprinters take to the Randwick track on Saturday in the 2017 TJ Smith Stakes, betting tips and the updated odds on the classic found below.
Set to run as Randwick Race 8 at 4:30pm (AEDT) on Day 1 of ‘The Championships’, this season’s $2.5 million Group 1 Darley TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) field features fifteen hopefuls.
Heading the latest TJ Smith Stakes odds online at Ladbrokes.com.au are the firming Peter & Paul Snowden-trained three-year-old Russian Revolution and the dual defending champion Chautauqua both at $5 for the win.
The last three-year-old TJ Smith Stakes winner was the filly Melito (2010), while no three-year-old male galloper has taken out the event since Century Kid (2001).
Snitzel colt Russian Revolution is there to break the drought however having handled a Heavy (10) Rosehill track first-up to beat the older horses in the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m).
He is undefeated at Royal Randwick and proven in the mud, plus will handle the step-up to 1200m and only needs to hang on to his likely front-running position carrying 56.5kg up from 51kg last time out.
Team Hawkes’ champion galloper Chautauqua meanwhile chases his third TJ Smith Stakes win on the trot, the stable opting not to run him in the Doncaster Mile over the extra distance in the wet this weekend.
The six-year-old comes off some imposing form this autumn including the Canterbury Stakes second to Saturday’s Doncaster favourite Le Romain and the last start third behind Winx in the George Ryder Stakes.
Back in distance and out to prove he’s still got Group 1 winning form.
If he runs, the returning John O’Shea-trained Coolmore Stud Stakes runner-up Astern ($6) is a notable danger as is luckless Spieth ($9) back in Sydney and out to atone for his ninth to Redkirk Warrior in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m).
So will the single-figure fancies get the job done or is there an upset Doncaster Mile result pending from the likes of proven mudlark Rebel Dane ($31) or the Darren Weir-trained Newmarket Handicap runner-up Voodoo Lad ($16)?
#8 Voodoo Lad ($16)
Darren Weir doesn’t win Group 1s in Sydney, but can this in-form galloper be his first and become the longest-priced TJ Smith Stakes winner since Master Of Design ($31 in 2012)? Plenty of form boxes ticked by the five-year-old in what is a pretty open edition of the race. Has strong form over the distance (8-3-4-1) and has also won up to 1400m, which will suit a slowly run race in the wet. The past three TJ Smith Stakes champions came off a top three run in the Newmarket Handicap, form that holds for Voodoo Lad who ran second. Has won on Heavy going and if he stays out of trouble from barrier three, can surprise at juicy odds.
#1 Chautauqua ($5)
Will the great grey return to winning form and celebrate his maiden victory since successfully defending his title in this race 12 months ago? True it has been a long time between drinks for the $6.7 million earner, but Chautauqua has run top three in his three starts this season. Only beaten a nostril flare two back after a pretty poor Tommy Berry ride in the Canterbury Stakes two back before the George Ryder third over 1500m to Winx. Drops back to what was his pet distance (16-7-6-1) and if he can run at his best, get through the mud and not get too far back he is a big hope.
#14 Russian Revolution ($5)
The obvious danger and market mover is the Snowden’s young champion Russian Revolution. Three-year-old colts have a poor record in this race, but this son of Snitzel has won all but one of his six career starts to date. The loss was a close fourth to Flying Artie in the Coolmore Stud Stakes last spring down the Flemington straight and he’s better around the turns. Proved that winning the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) in his campaign kick-off carrying the light weight. Rises in the kilos, but is proven on a Heavy (10) and undefeated over the 1200m at Randwick.
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