Talented Field Confirmed for 2014 T.J. Smith Stakes

April 8th, 2014

An exciting field of 18 plus three emergencies has been confirmed to line up on day 1 of The Championships at Royal Randwick for the major Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m), including the world’s current leading sprinter Lankan Rupee.

Lankan Rupee has been confirmed in the final field for the 2014 T.J. Smith Stakes this weekend

Lankan Rupee has been confirmed in the final field for the 2014 T.J. Smith Stakes this weekend. Photo: Race Horse Photos Australia

Unable to secure anything of a consistent run of form until gelded at the conclusion of his 2013 autumn preparation, Lankan Rupee has since won all by one of seven proceeding races, and has returned to the track in typically scintillating form this season.

Finishing nearly four lengths in the clear in the Group 2 Rubiton Stakes (1100m) first-up on February 8th, the talented son of Redoute’s Choice comfortably won the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) on February 22nd; he maiden tilt at the top flight of Australian racing, before repeating the dose most recently when finishing the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) two-and-a-half lengths in the clear of closest rival and fellow T.J. Smith Stakes  acceptor Spirit Of Boom.

Having drawn the ideal inside barrier for the 2014 T.J. Smith Stakes this weekend, trainer Mick Price is quietly confident of going three from three with Lankan Rupee this weekend, particularly with jockey Craig Newitt returning to take the ride.

One of two Queensland-based raiders confirmed for the 2014 T.J. Smith Stakes alongside four-time Group 1 champion Buffering, Spirit Of Boom has returned to the track in impressive form this preparation, continuing to perform at a high standard amongst classy competition.

Arguably one of the best race horses yet to claim a Group 1 title prior to his current preparation, Spirit Of Boom showed strong poise to finish behind only Lankan Rupee in both the Oakleigh Plate and Newmarket Handicap, and finally broke through for a maiden major victory in the Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) last time out.

Trainer Tony Gollan has revealed the Sequalo entire will return to the spelling paddock following the T.J. Smith Stakes, and is confident of going out with a bang despite drawing the awkward barrier 15.

Buffering was without doubt one of the standout performers of the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, finishing an unlucky second in the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1200m) first-up before claiming all of the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m), Group 1 VRC Sprint Classic (1200m) and Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) back-to-back to close the incredible season.

While unable to make much of an impact when seventh in the Group 2 Challenge Stakes (1000m) first-up this year, trainer Robert Heathcote is expecting a far more polished performance from the Mossman gelding this weekend, particularly having drawn the ideal barrier 2.

Unable to justify favouritism when eighth in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) first-up this season, Zoustar experienced something of a meteoric rise to prominence in his debut year in 2013, claiming each of his first three race starts, including the Group 2 BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1350m) before finishing an unlucky second in the Group 1 J.J. Atkins (1600m).

Returning to the track in strong form over spring, the exiting Northern Meteor colt finished fourth in the Group 3 Run To The Rose (1200m) first-up, before breaking through for a maiden Group 1 victory in the Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) and continuing his hot form through wins in the Group 2 Roman Consul Stakes (1200m) and Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m).

Trainer Chris Waller is confident Zoustar will find the 2014 T.J. Smith Stakes for more polished for his first-up run, and will pose a serious risk from barrier 6.

Claiming the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) in his Australian debut last start, talented Irish star Gordon Lord Byron has accepted a position in the final field for the 2014 T.J. Smith Stakes, having also appeared in nominations for the Doncaster Mile.

While dropping down 300 metres from his last start, the talented Byron gelding has proven winning when decreasing in distance, claiming a Group 1 event in Britain under similar circumstances last preparation.

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2014 T.J. Smith Stakes Final Field and Barrier Draw

No Last 10 Horse Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight Hcp Rating
1 432x2111x7 BUFFERING Robert Heathcote Damian Browne 2 58.5kg 118
2 42311274×1 GORDON LORD BYRON (IRE) Tom Hogan Craig Williams 11 58.5kg 114
3 6x1311x111 LANKAN RUPEE Mick Price Craig Newitt 1 58.5kg 115
4 x32124x221 SPIRIT OF BOOM Tony Gollan Michael Rodd 15 58.5kg 111
5 240x14157x REBEL DANE Gary Portelli Glen Boss 7 58.5kg 110
6 590x80x191 TIGER TEES (NZ) Joseph Pride 4 58.5kg 104
7 32x668x948 BEL SPRINTER Jason Warren Chad Schofield 9 58.5kg 110
8 x97x92x245 SHAMEXPRESS (NZ) Danny O’Brien Damien Oliver 17 58.5kg 108
9 10x9214x02 FONTELINA Anthony Cummings Hugh Bowman 3 58.5kg 108
10 0x63135x39 FAMOUS SEAMUS (NZ) Noel Mayfield-Smith Tim Clark 8 58.5kg 107
11 1x21430x64 SESSIONS Peter Snowden Kerrin McEvoy 20 58.5kg 106
12 660x29x1x9 AERONAUTICAL Lionel Cohen John Kissick (a) 5 58.5kg 104
13 1330718×27 SEE THE WORLD Joseph Pride 18 58.5kg 104
14 x127x82x12 SNITZERLAND Gerald Ryan Brenton Avdulla 21 56.5kg 111
15 070x348x21 STEPS IN TIME Joseph Pride 13 56.5kg 108
16 112x4111x8 ZOUSTAR Chris Waller Jim Cassidy 6 56.5kg 109
17 13x2x11172 SWEET IDEA Gai Waterhouse Tommy Berry 19 54.5kg 104
18 70x2440x13 VILLA VERDE Anthony Cummings James McDonald 12 54.5kg 84
19e x11413x140 IRISH FLING (NZ) Guy Lowry & Grant Cullen 16 56.5kg 102
20e 33×1515541 FLAMBERGE Peter G Moody 14 58.5kg 102
21e x1110x227x PERON John P Thompson Joao Moreira 10 56.5kg 98