Rails-Drawn Nature Strip Heads 2020 TJ Smith Stakes Field & Odds

March 31, 2020

Rails-Drawn Nature Strip Heads 2020 TJ Smith Stakes Field & Odds

Chris Waller’s star sprinter Nature Strip is narrow favourite in TJ Smith Stakes 2020 betting for this weekend at Royal Randwick after coming up trumps with the inside barrier draw.

Nature Strip. Photo: Steve Hart.

Nature Strip is tipped to take out the 2020 TJ Smith Stakes from barrier one this weekend at Randwick. Photo: Steve Hart.

Day 1 of ‘The Championships’ features four elite level races including the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) worth a reduced $1.25 million in prizemoney as the industry looks to stay afloat amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is a typically star-studded TJ Smith Stakes field with 13 to do battle this autumn, the current top elect being Nature Strip in barrier one with James McDonald continuing his association on the $4.3 million earner.

Nicconi five-year-old Nature Strip has run either first or fourth in his last eight starts going back to his Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) win at Rosehill last autumn.

He has celebrated two subsequent Group 1 wins in Melbourne and was last seen beating home two-time The Everest champ Redzel by three lengths at Randwick on March 7 in the Group 2 Challenge Stakes (1000m).

A subsequent winning trial at Randwick has Nature Strip fit and ready to fire as the firming $4 favourite for the punters in TJ Smith Stakes betting at Ladbrokes.com.au.

Lankan Rupee (2014) was the last TJ Smith Stakes favourite to salute for the punters however and so there are sure to be plenty looking for value further down the markets this weekend.

A further four horses are also under double-figures for the win including the $4.80 second elect Bivouac for Godolphin.

The James Cummings-trained Exceed And Excel colt is drawn midfield in barrier six looking to return to winning form after his third as the beaten favourite at The Valley in the Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m).

Prior to that he won the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) down the Flemington straight by two and a half lengths defeating his subsequent next-up conqueror Loving Gaby who he faces again in the TJ Smith Stakes.

Loving Gaby is at $6 to post another Group 1 success, the Moonee Valley specialist racing in Sydney for the first time since her back-to-back seconds at Randwick last autumn.

She was runner-up in both the Group 1 Inglis Sires’ (1400m) and Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m) over further, before finding her best form in the Melbourne sprints.

Ciaron Maher & David Eustace’s I Am Invincible filly has been the picture of consistency at the highest level against the older horses all campaign, but will be tested from the outside barrier (13) with Glen Boss aboard this weekend.

The other best in betting are the defending TJ Smith Stakes champion Santa Ana Lane ($5.50) and the Gregory Hickman-trained Pierata ($8) drawn in barriers two and nine respectively.

Anthony Freedman’s now seven-year-old Lope De Vega gelding won the TJ Smith Stakes last season off an unplaced run in the Newmarket Handicap and chases his first win since.

He has been competitive in plenty since returning from the credible fourth in Hong Kong’s Group 1 Chairman’s Sprint (1200m) last April and is out to improve on his first-up sixth in the Challenge Stakes.

Fitter for the run and better suited at the 1200m, Santa Ana Lane is out to join Black Caviar (2011, 2013) and three-time hero Chautauqua (2015-17) as multiple winners of the sprint feature.

Pierata meanwhile is also second-up in the TJ Smith Stakes field and has Chautauqua’s three-time winning hoop Tommy Berry booked for the ride.

The five-year-old Pierro entire has excellent form at the Randwick track (12:5-3-0), last year’s inaugural $1 million Redzel Stakes winner coming off a fifth when just over two lengths off the winner in The Galaxy on March 21.

Click here for the latest TJ Smith Stakes 2020 odds thanks to Ladbrokes.com.au.

2020 TJ Smith Stakes Field & Barriers

# Form (Last 10) Horse Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight Hcp. Rating
1 14x4141x41 NATURE STRIP Chris Waller James McDonald 1 58.5kg 118
2 251x2151x5 PIERATA Gregory Hickman Tommy Berry 9 58.5kg 118
3 x514x225x6 SANTA ANA LANE Anthony Freedman Tim Clark 2 58.5kg 118
4 862x138x22 REDZEL Peter & Paul Snowden Kerrin McEvoy 3 58.5kg 117
5 131x81324x TREKKING James Cummings TBA 4 58.5kg 114
6 25x5x61261 VEGADAZE Anthony Cummings Adam Hyeronimus 12 58.5kg 103
7 121162×613 BIVOUAC James Cummings TBA 6 56.5kg 116
8 72x16x93x6 IN HER TIME Kris Lees Brenton Avdulla 5 56.5kg 114
9 13x1331x66 EXCEEDANCE Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes TBA 10 56.5kg 108
10 x41011x773 TOFANE (NZ) Michael Moroney Opie Bosson 8 56.5kg 107
11 610190×324 WHITE MOSS Jason Coyle Ms Kathy O’Hara 7 56.5kg 107
12 1112×16 STANDOUT Gerald Ryan Nash Rawiller 11 56.5kg 104
13 2x1212x321 LOVING GABY Ciaron Maher & David Eustace Glen Boss 13 54.5kg 116

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