TJ Smith Stakes Tips & Betting Advice

2020 TJ Smith Stakes

Date Saturday 4 April
Track  Royal Randwick
Distance 1200m
Class Group 1
Race Type Weight-for-age
Prizemoney $2.5 million
Age No age restrictions


Our experts will have their pre-race predictions and TJ Smith Stakes betting selections available for the Group 1 race.

Some key pointers are:

  • The most successful age group are four-year-olds
  • Melito is the only three-year-old to have won the race since it became a Group 1
  • A draw in barrier 8 or wider is a big negative

The Championships Day 1 Expert Tips


Bookmakers Ladbrokes and Sportsbet are some of the best places to bet on the TJ Smith Stakes and all Randwick races. They offer some of the best odds and promotions on the big race. Or take advantage of the top 5 bookmaker deals below.


The Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) takes place at Royal Randwick Racecourse annually in April and is one of Australia’s premier sprint races.

The Open Weight-for-age race takes place on Day 1 of The Championships during the Sydney Autumn Carnival and is one of four Group 1 features on the day.

Mahogony won the inaugural TJ Smith Stakes in 1997 when the race was known as the Listed Endeavour Stakes.

In 1998 the race was elevated to Group 3 status and was again given an upgrade when becoming a Group 2 in 2002 until receiving its current Group 1 status in 2005.

In 1999 the race was renamed the TJ Smith Stakes in honour of Thomas John Smith who won 33 trainers premierships.

The TJ Smith Stakes attracts the country’s best sprinters, and is fast becoming one of the most highly-regarded races on the Australian racing calendar.

The Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) held at Rosehill Gardens Racecourse two weeks earlier and the Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) held at Mooney Valley are the most reliable guides to the TJ Smith, with champion mare Black Caviar winning the William Reid before both of her TJ Smith victories.

In recent years some of Australia’s most talented sprinters have won the premiere weight-for-age event with the most notable being Black Caviar (2011 & 2013) and Chautauqua (2015, 2016 & 2017).

Winners of the TJ Smith Stakes have recently gone on to win the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) held on the final day of the Sydney Autumn Carnival.

Other notable winners of the TJ Smith Stakes include: Mahogany (1997), La Baraka (1998), Phoenix Park (2002), Spinning Hill (2003), Shamekha (2005), Apache Cat (2008) and Takeover Target (2009).

TJ Smith Stakes Winners (Since 2000)

2000 Shy Hero
2001 Century Kid
2002 Phoenix Park
2003 Spinning Hill
2004 Dilly Dally
2005 Shamekha
2006 Red Oog
2007 Bentley Biscuit
2008 Apache Cat
2009 Takeover Target
2010 Melito
2011 Black Caviar
2012 Master Of Design
2013 Black Caviar
2014 Lankan Rupee
2015 Chautauqua
2016 Chautauqua
2017 Chautauqua
2018 Trapeze Artist
2019 Santa Ana Lane

2020 Nature Strip


Randwick is the largest racetrack in New South Wales and all races are run in a clockwise direction. It is a sweeping track with a rise from the 300m mark to the winning post in the home straight.

As well as the main track, Randwick Racecourse contains a second track known as Kensington. Due to large rainfall in the area, Kensington has been reconstructed using the Strathayr racing surface which is similar to Moonee Valley.

Strathayr is a turf cover over a base of sand, this means it is a free draining track which can take a substantial amount of rain without affecting the rating.


Originally known as the ‘Sandy Course,’ Randwick Racecourse was first used in 1833 where a private match race between two horses was held.

In 1840 the track was abandoned as a racecourse and used for training purposes before the Australian Jockey Club (AJC) moved its headquarters to Randwick and held a meeting in 1860.

The Queen Elizabeth II stand was opened to the public on August 4, 1969, and in 1992, Queen Elizabeth II visited Randwick and opened the new $30 million Paddock Grandstand.

The Australian Derby (2400m) remains one of the longest standing races to be held at Randwick after its inaugural running took place in 1861.

Randwick hosts some of Australia’s most iconic Group 1 races throughout the year, during both the spring and autumn carnivals in Sydney.

The Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Doncaster Mile and TJ Smith Stakes are some of the elite races taking place at Randwick during the prestigious The Championships during the autumn.