Trainer Joe Pride is confident that his star sprinter Terravista will be right to contest the Group 1 $2.5m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on April 2, the first day of ‘The Championships’.
Terravsita was due run in the Group 1 $1.25m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on Saturday, but Pride has been forced to keep the chestnut at home this weekend after suffering a minor hoof problem.
But the top Warwick Farm trainer was quick to tweet that the Captain Rio six year old will be right for his big assignment at Randwick in three and a half weeks.
“Terravista has hoof problem sadly can’t take his place in Newmarket will be back for the TJ,” Pride said on twitter.
Terravista was the winner of the 2014 Group 1 $1m Darley Classic over the same course and distance as the Newmarket Handicap at Flemington and had returned to the racetrack in fine style.
The six year old was beaten first up by a nose by arch rival Chautauqua in the Group 1 $750,000 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) at Flemington on February 20 and was certain to have pushed the Team Hawkes trained grey again in the Newmarket Handicap.
Terravista has performed consistently since winning his initial Group 1 and as well as his second in the Black Caviar Lightning, had been placed on three other occasions at the elite level, with Chautauqua also featuring in the finishes.
The top class sprinter ran third in the 2015 Newmarket Handicap to Brazen Beau and Chautauqua before finishing third again to Chautauqua in the T J Smith Stakes at Randwick three weeks later.
Then during the 2015 Melbourne Spring Carnival Terravista ran third to the Chris Waller trained Delectation in the Darley Classic with Chautauqua second in a tight three way photo finish.
Pride will still be represented in the Newmarket Handicap with his war horse Tiger Tees who has drawn barrier seven in the eleven horse field with Ben Melham to ride.
Tiger Tees is a proven Group 1 performer with a win in the 2014 $400,000 Bloodstock.com.au Galaxy (1100m) at Rosehill and is going into Saturday’s race down the Flemington straight on the back of a first up fourth to Our Boy Malachi in the Group 2 $200,000 Expressway Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on January 30.
In the early pre post market order for the T J Smith Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au, Terravista is on the third line of betting at $10 behind Chautauqua at $3.40 and the John O’Shea trained Exosphere at $4.60.
T J Smith Stakes early market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.40 Chautauqua, $4.60 Exosphere, $10 Terravista, $11 Delectation, English, Japonisme, $13 Press Statement, $15 Counterattack, Lucky Hussler, $17 Bounding, Holler, $21 Fell Swoop, Kinglike, Our Boy Malachi.