The TJ Smith Stakes is one of the Autumn Carnival’s most highly anticipated races each year, but it could very well prove to be the standout contest of the entire season in 2020.
Australia typically produces the world’s best sprinters and I would be more than confident in saying the current crop would dominate the best of any other country, on a level playing field.
TJ Smith Stakes – Winner
No. 3 Santa Ana Lane – Bet Now: $6.00
Santa Ana Lane has remained in my top five favourite horses for several seasons now and he’ll take plenty of beating in the TJ Smith Stakes. The Lope De Vega gelding’s record speaks for itself but to refresh your memory, it boasts five Group 1 crowns and a whole lot of other outstanding results in the toughest company imaginable. He hasn’t saluted since becoming the TJ Smith Stakes winner in 2019, but he also hasn’t run a bad race and he is sure to enjoy sharp improvement form his resuming effort in the Group 2 Challenge Stakes in early March. I like that he’s had a trial in the lead-up to this and Tim Clark is another big plus.
TJ Smith Stakes – 2nd
No. 7 Bivouac – Bet Now: $4.80
The heir apparent has returned to the races in world-beating form and could very well enjoy the run of the race in the TJ Smith Stakes after drawing barrier 6. He was an impressive two-year-old, but went to another level in the spring, highlighted by a maiden Group 1 win in the Golden Rose, but it is also fair to say that he has only improved this year, adding the Newmarket Handicap to the trophy cabinet. He’s at peak fitness for what will be his fourth start this time in and I cannot find a reason why he won’t be in the finish.
TJ Smith Stakes – 3rd
No. 13 Loving Gaby – Bet Now: $6.50
Loving Gaby doesn’t know how to run a bad race and while she will need luck from the visitor’s draw, she is more than capable of fighting into the finish of the TJ Smith Stakes. The I Am Invincible filly has recorded four wins and six minors from twelve career starts and really did put the writing on the wall in spring when she beat an open field of sprinters including many of these rivals in the Group 1 Manikato. She hasn’t missed a place this time and has improved with each start, culminating in another win in the William Reid two weeks ago. Bossy jumps into the saddle and she’ll carry only 54.5kgs.
TJ Smith Stakes – 4th
No. 5 Trekking – Bet Now: $21.00
I am a big fan of Trekking and he could prove big overs at TJ Smith Stakes offs of $17 (at publish). The Street Cry gelding won the Stradbroke Handicap at the conclusion of his winter prep last year, so he is clearly up to racing at the top level, and he continued to impress throughout a spring preparation which heralded a lovely win in the Group 2 Shillaci Stakes and a third-placing in The Everest, most notably. He’s first-up but has a decent fresh record and has returned a couple of lovely trials in preparation for this.
- 2 Units straight out #3 Santa Ana Lane
- Boxed Trifecta of the selections below