The 2016 T.J. Smith Stakes is an option for popular sprinter Our Boy Malachi after he returned to the races with an impressive win in the Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
Our Boy Malachi was a big drifter in the lead-up to the Expressway Stakes, but he showed his usual tactical speed to take up the running in the early stages of the race from Solicit and Tiger Tees.
Jockey Tommy Berry waited patiently to make his move on Our Boy Malachi and The Rockhampton Rock quickly kicked away from his rivals when he was asked for an extra effort to record a dominant Expressway Stakes victory.
Our Boy Malachi had suffered a bleeding attack when he finished at the tail of the field in the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) before suffering from colic and co-trainer Michael Hawkes was simply delighted to see the consistent sprinter bounce back from these ailments and return to winning form.
“From the get-go, Tommy and ‘Malachi’ were in control,” Hawkes told the media after the race.
“It’s great to see the horse back and win like that, we want these good horses racing.
“He is a favourite with the public because he is a winner that is what he is about.
“That’s 18 wins from 22 starts and it doesn’t get much better than that.
“When a horse has a bleeding attack it is always in the back of your mind how they will go when they come back to training, but he has been really good, we have been patient and taken him along slowly for this race.
“To be honest, we were 50-50 this morning about running him on a wet track because of what happened to him.
“The last thing I said to Tommy before he went out was to nurse the horse and if he doesn’t need to be let off the bit then don’t do it.
“I knew at the top of the straight it was all over and at the end of the day, this horse is a winner.”
Team Hawkes are always cagey about their plans for their top line gallopers and they were no different after Our Boy Malachi took out the Expressway Stakes on Saturday.
Hawkes said that the stable had not thought past this weekend with Our Boy Malachi, but he indicated that the Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on April 2 could be on the agenda for the son of Top Echelon.
“We were not looking beyond this race,” Hawkes said.
“We wanted to see how he went under race conditions and it was exciting to see how well he performed.
“There are not a lot of races for a sprinter like him in the next few weeks, but having his races spaced won’t hurt him.
“There is a chance he may go to Melbourne or we can find a path to get him to the T.J. Smith Stakes during The Championships.”
Our Boy Malachi is currently available at 2016 T.J. Smith Stakes odds of $15 with Ladbrokes, while stablemate Chautauqua ($4) is a clear favourite from Exosphere ($5.50), Terravista ($9), Delectation ($11), Buffering ($13), Japonisme ($13) and Press Statement ($13).