The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
I Wish I Win was simply superb for Peter Moody with last year’s Golden Eagle winner coming from last to first to fly past the country’s best sprinters and post an emphatic win in the TJ Smith Stakes 2023 results at Randwick.
Champion trainer Moody was bullish pre-race about the chances of his classy Savabeel four-year-old third-up with I Wish I Win targeted specifically for the Group 1 $3 million TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) on Day 1 of The Championships.
Moody opted not to head to The Valley for this year’s $5 million The All-Star Mile (1600m) instead keeping the gun gelding for a shot at the TJ in Sydney over the six furlongs.
I Wish I Win had done plenty right in his two Melbourne lead-ups at Flemington running second in the Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) and third to In Secret in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m).
Third-up and fit he was firing on all cylinders in the TJ Smith Stakes back to weight-for-age with Luke Nolen continuing associations on the champion in the making.
Proving his versatility. I Wish I Win handled a Heavy (9) track with ease doing what no other runner had been able to do all day, come from last to peel to the outside and post a super impressive victory in the sprint feature on the card.
“That was special, third run in he’s probably peaked today,” Moody told Sky Thoroughbred Central post-win.
“I laid down at 10.30am this morning and the track was a Good 4, I was a very happy man. Got up at 12.15pm, it was a Heavy 8 and I didn’t want to come to the races.
“Luke used the rest of the field for as long as he could. You could always see him coming, I’m very proud of him, he’s a bloody good horse.
“I said this ten years ago and probably 12 years ago, it’s always special winning this race because as a 15-year-old I arrived in Bowral street Kensington at the master’s stables, TJ Smith.
“I think I’ve won it three times now, obviously twice with the obvious (Black Caviar) and now this so it’s always a special race to win. Very appreciative of it.”
It was Passive Aggressive showing good early acceleration to lead this year’s star-studded TJ Smith Stakes field around with Chris Waller’s three-time defending champion Nature Strip up in his preferred position second the outside looking to make history.
At the 600m Nature Strip took a clear lead, the veteran eight-year-old rolling up the rise three lengths clear of Mazu who presented as the first challenger on the home straight.
With a furlong to go it looked like the old marvel would get the job done for the punters, but all eyes quickly went to the outside with I Wish I Win flashing home.
In a spectacular finish the TJ Smith Stakes winner knocked off last year’s The Everest winning three-year-old Giga Kick who was brave in second, while the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Mazu finished third.
Nature Strip just couldn’t hold them out after dashing away, but held for fourth.
The question is now how good exactly is I Wish I Win who will be back at Randwick in October for the world’s richest turf race, the $15 million The Everest (1200m).
“He’s pretty bloody impressive. He’s an amazing horse,” winning hoop Nolen said post-victory.
“He didn’t particularly travel well today actually, I was a bit worried. But when we topped the rise he lengthened stride and s*** he gave me a good feel.
“He’s an exceptional horse, he’s got similar traits to the last one (Black Caviar).
“Very happy to be a part of it and Moods (trainer Peter Moody) owns half of it and he’s a massive slinger so it’s even better.
“We were here on trial for that race (The Everest) in the spring so I reckon they’ll be lining up to get him a slot.
“He’s a beautiful animal and because they’ve given him a lot of time early we’re going to be able to see this horse race on for many years to come hopefully.
“I’m glad he ended in Moody’s care so I get the opportunity to ride him.”
2023 TJ Smith Stakes Results & Finishing Order
|1||6||I WISH I WIN (NZ)||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||12||58.5kg||$9|
|2||10||GIGA KICK||Clayton Douglas||Zac Purton||0.58L||7||56.5kg||$6.50|
|3||4||MAZU||Peter & Paul Snowden||Sam Clipperton||1.39L||1||58.5kg||$7|
|4||1||NATURE STRIP||Chris Waller||James McDonald||3.44L||5||58.5kg||$4.80F|
|5||12||MARIAMIA||Joseph Pride||Tyler Schiller (a)||4.74L||11||56.5kg||$26|
|6||2||LOST AND RUNNING (NZ)||John O’Shea||Hugh Bowman||6.05L||13||58.5kg||$17|
|7||15||IN SECRET||James Cummings||Ben Melham||6.88L||10||54.5kg||$6.50|
|8||11||LOFTY STRIKE||Julius Sandhu||Craig Newitt||7.06L||8||56.5kg||$20|
|9||14||SHADES OF ROSE||Bjorn Baker||Ms Rachel King||7.71L||9||56.5kg||$61|
|10||8||ROCKETING BY||David Pfieffer||Kerrin McEvoy||8.09L||6||58.5kg||$101|
|11||13||PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE||Grahame Begg||Jordan Childs||8.52L||4||56.5kg||$13|
|12||3||PRIVATE EYE||Joseph Pride||Brenton Avdulla||15.89L||2||58.5kg||$7|
|13||9||SHELBY SIXTYSIX||Danny Williams||Tim Clark||16.16L||3||58.5kg||$61|
|7||OVERPASS||Bjorn Baker||Joshua Parr||0|
|5||PAULELE||James Cummings||Joao Moreira||0|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
Racing fields and data are copyright 2011-2021 © Racing Australia Pty Ltd (RA) (and other parties working with it).
Racing materials, including fields, form and results, is subject to copyright which is owned by RA and other parties working with it. Full copyright notice.