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Trainer Tony McEvoy will monitor the weather and the state of the track before committing his star filly Sunlight to a run in the Group 1 $2.5m Aquis T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on Day One of The Championships on Saturday.

Sunlight, above, will gallop at the Breakfast With The Stars at Randwick in preparation for the T J Smith Stakes. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Sunlight, above, will gallop at the Breakfast With The Stars at Randwick in preparation for the T J Smith Stakes. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Sunlight has proven herself as a very high quality three year old with three Group 1 wins on her record and McEvoy doesn’t want to risk the valuable filly on a severely rain affected track.

“I’m keen to run her but I’ve got to watch the weather,” McEvoy told AAP.

“I don’t want to run her on bottomless ground when there’s a million dollar race a week later.”

“We don’t have to run in the TJ, even though it’s the race we want, as there are other options.”

“We’ll see what happens in Sydney because I can take her back to Adelaide for the Sangster Stakes (May 4) on the way home for a spell.”

McEvoy will send Sunlight to Randwick on Tuesday morning to gallop at the Breakfast With The Stars before accepting for the T J Smith Stakes, one of four Group 1 races on the first day of The Championships.

“I’ll head up to Sydney on Monday and we’ll take her to Breakfast With The Stars at Randwick on Tuesday morning and then make a decision on what we do,” McEvoy said.

“I think we’ll accept because it can change so quickly and you have to accept so far out.”

If the weather plays havoc with Sunlight’s Sydney campaign during The Championships, McEvoy also has the option of running his stable star against the fillies and the mares in the Group 1 $600,000 Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m) at Morphettville on May 4.

Sunlight has amassed a huge prizemoney haul of over $4 million from ten wins from fifteen starts and has raced against top company from her early two year old days.

The Zoustar filly was a brilliant winner of the 2018 $2m Magic Millions 2yo Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast and then went on to finish third to Estijaab in the Group 1 $3.5m Longines Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill during the 2018 Sydney Autumn Carnival.

During the 2018 Spring Carnival, Sunlight proved once again to be among the top sprinting three year olds when she beat the colts and geldings with her gutsy win in the Group 1 $1m Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on Day one of the four day Melbourne Cup Carnival.

Sunlight then returned to the winner’s stall during the 2019 Melbourne Autumn when she beat the older sprinters under handicap conditions in the Group 1 $1.25m Seppelt Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington and then proved to be just as effective at weight for age with an all the way win in the Group 1 $500,000 Keogh Homes William Reid Stakes (1200m) at The Valley on March 22.

Bookmakers at Ladbrokes.com.au have Sunlight marked at $10 in a compact T J Smith Stakes market that has the James Cummings trained Osborne Bulls and last year’s winner Trapeze Artist as the $5 joint favourites.

The Anthony Freedman trained Santa Ana Lane at $7.50 and the well performed Pierata and dual Everest winner Redzel at $8 are also well in contention in the betting.

Early betting for the T J Smith Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $5 Osborne Bulls, Trapeze Artist, $7.50 Santa Ana Lane, $8 Pierata, Redzel, $10 Sunlight, $11 Shoals, $17 Graff, $21 Vega Magic, $26 Brutal, Easy Eddie, Encryption, Zousain, $31 Eduardo, Le Romain, Written By, $34 Spright, $41 or better the rest.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.