T.J. Smith Stakes The Likely First-Up Target For Srikandi

Trainer Ciaron Maher has revealed that star sprinter Srikandi will likely start her autumn campaign in the 2016 T.J. Smith Stakes at Royal Randwick in April.

Srikandi will have the chance to record a third Group 1 victory during the 2015 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival. Photo by: Daniel Costello

Srikandi will have the chance to record a third Group 1 victory during the 2015 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival. Photo by: Daniel Costello

Srikandi finally delivered on her potential when she took out the Group 2 Victory Stakes (1200m), Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1350m) and Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) during the 2015 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival and she showed that she was capable of mixing it with the best sprinters in Australia during her spring campaign.

The Dubawi mare returned to the races in the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on October 23 and she looked line the winner at the 200 metre mark before the entire field was swamped late by Chautauqua, while she did not have a great deal of luck in running when she finished fifth behind Delectation, Chautauqua, Terravista and Buffering in the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington on November 7.

Maher confirmed that Srikandi would likely return to Brisbane for a tilt at the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) and potentially a third straight run in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m), but he told Racing.com that he give the five-year-old an opportunity against the likes of Chautauqua in the T.J. Smith Stakes.

“We might have a look at the T.J. first,” Maher said.

“She does really like that sting out of the ground and she has a pretty good record fresh at the 1200.

“We then have a view to head towards the Doomben 10,000 with her.”

Srikandi made her racing debut with a win at Cranbourne in September of 2013 and she strung together two wins on the trot as a late three-year-old before she claimed a maiden black-type win in the Listed Silk Stocking (1200m) at the Gold Coast on May 3.

She started the 2014 Stradbroke Handicap as favourite following her wins in the Listed Juanmo Stakes (1200m) and Group 3 Glenlogan Park Stakes (1350m) before she finished a gallant third behind River Lad and Temple Of Boom in the Group 1 event.

Srikandi did not have a race start during the 2015 Spring Racing Carnival, but she continued her love affair with Queensland with her wins in the Victory Stakes, Stradbroke Handicap and Tattersall’s Tiara.

No mare has won the T.J. Smith Stakes since Black Caviar in 2013, while Black Piranha is the last horse to have won the Stradbroke Handicap in back-to-back years.

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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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