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Star Sprinters In TJ Smith Stakes Field

The 2016 TJ Smith Stakes field has been released and a number of the most talented sprinters in the country are set to contest the Group 1 event at Royal Randwick on Saturday.

Chautauqua will have the chance to record back-to-back TJ Smith Stakes wins at Royal Randwick this weekend. Photo by: Steve Hart

Chautauqua will have the chance to record back-to-back TJ Smith Stakes wins at Royal Randwick this weekend. Photo by: Steve Hart

Chautauqua scored his maiden Group 1 victory in the TJ Smith Stakes last year and he will defend his title when he jumps from barrier 11 this weekend.

The son of Encosta De Lago started his 2015 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with a narrow win in the Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington on February 20, but he was beaten as favourite in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at the same venue on March 12.

The Newmarket Handicap is normally the key lead-up to the TJ Smith Stakes, but Chris Waller-trained Delectation is the only other horse that is set to back-up on Saturday after running in the Group 1 sprint.

The key form reference for the TJ Smith Stakes will instead be the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m), which was won by Griante at Rosehill Gardens on Golden Slipper Day.

Griante will not contest the TJ Smith Stakes, but Terravista, Our Boy Malachi, Rebel Dane, Dothraki, Famous Seamus, Shiraz, Boss Lane, Fell Swoop and English will all have the chance to return to winning form in the TJ Smith Stakes.

The only horse that is set to take winning form into the TJ Smith Stakes is Flamberge, who scored his second straight win at Group 1 level in the William Reid Stakes at Moonee Valley on Easter Thursday.

Flamberge has joined the stable of Matthew Ellerton and Simon Zahra and will have the chance to complete a rare sprinting treble in the TJ Smith Stakes.

The x-factor in the 2016 TJ Smith Stakes field is Godolphin sprinter Exosphere, who has not been seen at the races since he finished fourth behind Chautauqua in the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes.

Exosphere was unable to perform at his best in his past two race starts in Melbourne, but he scored three wins from as many starts in Sydney during the 2015 Spring Racing Carnival and he won over this track and distance in the Group 2 Roman Consul Stakes (1200m) on October 3.

Fast ‘N’ Rocking is also set to back-up in the TJ Smith Stakes following his fast-finishing fourth in the William Reid Stakes, while Knoydart will return to the races for the first time this preparation.

About The Author

Thomas Hackett

Thomas is a passionate and opinionated racing journalist and punter who has been obsessed with horse racing since he backed Saintly to win the 1996 Melbourne Cup. An international racing enthusiast, he has his finger on the pulse of racing news not just from Australia but all around the world.

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