The Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) will be run at Royal Randwick on Saturday, April 4 and Bettingpro.com.au provides you with a comprehensive guide to the race.
TJ Smith Stakes Final Field and Barrier Draw
The final field and barrier draw for the TJ Smith Stakes:
1. NATURE STRIP Chris Waller – James McDonald (1) 58.5kg
2. PIERATA Gregory Hickman – Tommy Berry (9) 58.5kg
3. SANTA ANA LANE Anthony Freedman – Tim Clark (2) 58.5kg
4. REDZEL Peter & Paul Snowden – Kerrin McEvoy (3) 58.5kg
5. TREKKING James Cummings – TBA (4) 58.5kg
6. VEGADAZE Anthony Cummings – TBA (12) 58.5kg
7. BIVOUAC James Cummings – TBA (6) 56.5kg
8. IN HER TIME Kris Lees – Brenton Avdulla (5) 56.5kg
9. EXCEEDANCE Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes – TBA (10) 56.5kg
10. TOFANE (NZ) Michael Moroney – Opie Bosson (8) 56.5kg
11. WHITE MOSS Jason Coyle – Ms Kathy O’Hara (7) 56.5kg
12. STANDOUT Gerald Ryan – Nash Rawiller (11) 56.5kg
13. LOVING GABY Ciaron Maher & David Eustace – Glen Boss (13) 54.5kg
TJ Smith Stakes Odds
Wide open betting race for this year’s TJ Smith Stakes with Ladbrokes.
Nature Strip $4.50
Santa Ana Lane $5.00
Loving Gaby $6.00
In Her Time $34
White Moss $151
TJ Smith Stakes Tips
I tipped the Gregory Hickman-trained PIERATA last start in The Galaxy, and despite finishing 2.3 lengths away in 5th, I’m keen to stick with him.
Half-way through the day I knew I was in trouble having backed Pierata in the early markets.
Rosehill was clearly favouring front-runners, and Pierata was always facing an uphill battle in that race.
There was no way they were going to ride him forward with the TJ Smith being his main aim a fortnight later.
He was there to win, but not have a gut-buster.
As it turned out, Pierata was trying to run down I Am Excited (52kg), Miss Leonidas (52kg), Tofane (51kg) and Deprive (53.5kg) while carrying 59kg on a leader-bias track.
Pierata meets Tofane 6kg better at the weights, and I can’t see that mare beating him home again considering he has plenty of upside being second-up.
Pierata has never finished out of the top two second-up having recorded two wins and three 2nd placings from five attempts.
There is plenty of speed here with Vegadaze likely to work across and try and lead from Nature Strip, Redzel and White Moss, while Bivouac and Loving Gabby could also push up and force the speed.
That should give backmarkers a chance to run on and I think Pierata is the best of them considering the track is likely to be Heavy.