The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott’s honest mare English has confirmed a third shot at the 2018 TJ Smith Stakes on Saturday with a blistering piece of work on Tuesday morning.
The five-year-old daughter of Encosta De Lago was put through her paces in a lovely gallop at Breakfast With The Stars, completing her final 600m in 37.5 seconds ahead of Saturday’s Group 1 $2.5 million Darley TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick.
“What we saw from her this morning tells us she is right where she needs to be,” co-trainer Bott told Racing NSW.
“This is the race we want to win, she missed out the last couple of years.”
One of four elite level autumn features on Day 1 of ‘The Championships’, the TJ Smith Stakes field attracted a 14 starter line-up at final acceptance stage.
All the rage in TJ Smith Stakes betting is on the firming Peter & Paul Snowden-trained favourite Redzel who has been backed in from $2.25 to $2.15 already at Ladbrokes.com.au following a gun barrier six draw.
Redzel is obviously the sprinter to beat having taken out The Everest (1200m) at this track and distance last October.
His statistics at Randwick (9:6-1-1) and over 1200m (6:4-0-0) are outstanding, as was his last start win in the Group 2 Challenge Stakes (1000m) on March 10.
Saturday will be Redzel’s first run in a TJ Smith Stakes and the money says the five-year-old can salute for the punters for the first time since Lankan Rupee (2014).
English meanwhile has contested the past two editions of the autumn classic after her third in 2016 and second last year behind Chautauqua who also saluted in 2015.
Triple TJ Smith Stakes champion Chautauqua was denied a shot at an historic fourth win this season, the Team Hawkes-trained ‘Grey Flash’ spelled with a decision over his retirement pending after four failed trial attempts.
English then gets her chance to finally go one better with the race specialist there to rain on her parade, but the latest TJ Smith Stakes odds only rate her a $10 chance.
She drew out wide in barrier 12 and has Sam Clipperton retaining the ride on the weekend.
English ran a first-up fifth, four lengths beaten by Redzel in the Challenge Stakes before Clipperton took over for the mare’s other lead-up run at Rosehill.
On Golden Slipper Day English finished three-quarters of a length back second behind In Her Time in the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m).
That is the same race she has contested heading into the past two editions of the TJ Smith Stakes having finished sixth in 2016 and even further back when seventh on a Heavy (10) to Russian Revolution last autumn.
English will need to be improving third-up to turn the tables on In Her Time, Benjamin Smith’s ultra-consistent daughter of Time Thief also backing up in the TJ Smith Stakes field.
She jumps from a more favourable barrier three draw with dual Melbourne Cup winning hoop Corey Brown aboard.
Brown is after his second TJ Smith Stakes winning ride following that on the Greg Eurell-trained favourite Apache Cat back in 2008.
He rode In Her Time for all three of her spring starts when the mare enjoyed back-to-back victories at Randwick before a second to Hey Doc down south in the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at The Valley.
No surprises to see In Her Time installed as the $4 second pick in the TJ Smith Stakes looking to do The Galaxy – TJ Smith double for the first time since the then filly La Baraka (1998).
Check out the latest odds on English to score an upset TJ Smith Stakes 2018 result on Saturday now through Ladbrokes.com.au.
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