The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
Clayton Douglas’ young The Everest winning three-year-old Giga Kick is second-up on Saturday tipped to return to winning form sitting top of the 2023 TJ Smith Stakes betting markets in Sydney.
Royal Randwick is host to The Championships Day 1 on the weekend with four elite level races on the card including the weight-for-age Group 1 $3 million TJ Smith Stakes (1200m).
The TJ Smith Stakes field features a star-studded line-up of 15 autumn sprinters with markets at Ladbrokes.com.au led by Scissor Kick gelding Giga Kick at $3.70.
He is after his first win since beating home his older rivals in the world’s richest turf race claiming victory in the $15 million The Everest at the track and distance last October.
Fresh on March 4 Giga Kick returned and was solid running third to Passive Aggressive in the Group 2 Challenge Stakes (1000m).
Zac Purton comes aboard for the ride on Saturday with Giga Kick in gate nine fitter for the run and looking to be the first three-year-old TJ Smith Stakes winner since Trapeze Artist (2018).
Occupying the second line of TJ Smith Stakes betting this Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival following closely at $4.80 out to make history is Chris Waller’s three-time defending champion Nature Strip.
The now eight-year-old son of Nicconi equalled Chautauqua last year winning his third TJ Smith Stakes trophy and now returns looking to go one better in 2023.
A winner of over $20.6 million in career earnings Nature Strip has a 50% winning strike rate from eight runs over 1200m at Randwick.
He is after his first win since the Group 2 The Shorts (1100m) here last September, after which he ran a close fourth under a length off Giga Kick as the beaten odds-on elect in The Everest.
Nature Strip turned the tables winning the Group 1 VRC Classic (1200m) down the straight at Flemington before his first-up sixth in the Group 1 Lightning Stakes (1000m) behind Coolangatta.
He is back in Sydney now and ready to fire from barrier seven with ace hoop James McDonald continuing associations.
There are two other single-figure fancies under $10 in the latest TJ Smith Stakes odds with Godolphin’s last start Group 1 Newmarket Handicap winning filly In Secret ($7) and the talented Joe Pride-trained Private Eye ($7).
Melito (2010) was the last TJ Smith Stakes winning filly, and there is early money coming for the James Cummings-trained In Secret to be the next.
The progressive daughter of I Am Invisible was runner-up to Jacquinot in the spring’s Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) before saluting down the straight at headquarters with a two-length victory over the boys in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m).
She presents rock-hard fit on Saturday with three autumn lead-ups for two wins and a third.
Fresh she won the Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) at this track and trip before a third in a three-way photo finish a nose beaten in the Group 1 Surround Stakes (1400m) over further in late February.
Cummings took her south third-up for a confidence-boosting victory in the Newmarket Handicap with 51.5kg.
She remains at the six furlongs returning to Sydney on Saturday and jumps from barrier 12 with Ben Melham in the saddle.
Private Eye is drawn better in barrier two with the Al Maher five-year-old coming off an eye-catching fourth first-up in the Newmarket Handicap.
He was good in Sydney last prep beating Roch ‘N’ Horse home by over two lengths carrying 60kg in the Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) before his close second in The Everest and subsequent $3 million Winners Stakes win over 1300m at Rosehill.
Private Eye’s second-up record is good (6:2-2-0) and he presents as a danger again in the TJ Smith Stakes.
Other gallopers being kept safe in the markets include the rails-drawn The Everest third place-getter Mazu ($11) for Team Snowden, the Peter Moody-trained Golden Eagle champion I Wish I Win ($11) coming off placings in the Lightning (2nd) and Newmarket (3rd) in Melbourne, and Grahame Begg’s five-time winning mare Passive Aggressive ($15) kept fresh since her Challenge Stakes victory.
2023 TJ Smith Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Probable Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||31x1x142x6||NATURE STRIP||Chris Waller||James McDonald||7||58.5kg||122|
|2||21x10x317x||LOST AND RUNNING (NZ)||John O’Shea||Hugh Bowman||15||58.5kg||115|
|3||082x1217x4||PRIVATE EYE||Joseph Pride||Brenton Avdulla||2||58.5kg||115|
|4||111x5232x5||MAZU||Peter & Paul Snowden||Sam Clipperton||1||58.5kg||113|
|5||22x61801x8||PAULELE||James Cummings||Joao Moreira||3||58.5kg||112|
|6||23x1151x23||I WISH I WIN (NZ)||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||14||58.5kg||111|
|7||557x26690x||OVERPASS||Bjorn Baker||Joshua Parr||4||58.5kg||107|
|8||738915×676||ROCKETING BY||David Pfieffer||Kerrin McEvoy||8||58.5kg||104|
|9||09702×8988||SHELBY SIXTYSIX||Danny Williams||Tim Clark||5||58.5kg||91|
|10||1x11115x3||GIGA KICK||Clayton Douglas||Zac Purton||9||56.5kg||110|
|11||11x347x122||LOFTY STRIKE||Julius Sandhu||Craig Newitt||10||56.5kg||110|
|12||31443×1141||MARIAMIA||Joseph Pride||Tyler Schiller (a)||13||56.5kg||109|
|13||1111x4x1||PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE||Grahame Begg||Jordan Childs||6||56.5kg||107|
|14||xP211118x0||SHADES OF ROSE||Bjorn Baker||Ms Rachel King||11||56.5kg||102|
|15||1x2121x131||IN SECRET||James Cummings||Ben Melham||12||54.5kg||115|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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