Gai Waterhouse admits that Sweet Idea faces a tough challenge in the 2014 T.J. Smith Stakes, but the leading trainer is confident that the classy filly has the talent to be competitive in the Group 1 event at Royal Randwick this weekend.
Sweet Idea will be making her debut at weight-for-age level in the T.J. Smith Stakes and will be taking on some of the best sprinters in Australia; with Lankan Rupee, Buffering, Snitzerland and Spirit Of Boom as well as talented Irish galloper Gordon Lord Byron included in the field for the $2.5 million race.
Waterhouse has always had a high opinion of Sweet Idea, rating her the best filly in Australia, and she is confident that the daughter of Snitzel can be highly competitive in the T.J. Smith Stakes, especially on a rain-affected track.
“It is a big ask, the three-year-olds beating the older sprinting horses, but she is certainly one of the best fillies in Australia,” Waterhouse told TVN.
“These horses are running every second week and they are running in top class races, so the biggest thing is to keep them happy and keep them ticking over.
“She is very fit and loves the sting out of the ground; her two best runs have been on rain-affected tracks.”
Sweet Idea performed strongly on rain affected tracks during the 2013 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival, winning the Group 2 Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m) on a heavy nine before finishing third in the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) on a slow seven, and has returned to the races in excellent form this preparation after receiving a three month ban for bleeding during the running of the Group 2 Silver Shadow Stakes (1200m) in the spring.
The three-year-old took out both the Wyong Magic Millions Stakes (1200m) and Gold Coast Magic Millions Guineas (1400m) during a brief summer campaign and after a brief freshen up took out the Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on February 22.
Sweet Idea failed to fire in the Group 2 Surround Stakes (1400m) on March 8, with Waterhouse blaming the Warwick Farm surface, but she returned to her best form with a fast-finishing second behind Steps In Time in the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 22.
Sweet Idea is currently available at 2014 T.J. Smith Stakes odds of $17 and is rated a $16 in the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) next weekend, but is unlikely to contest the race.