2015 TJ Smith Stakes Option for Pride’s Sprint Stars

January 14th, 2015

Warwick Farm trainer Joe Pride has named the TJ Smith Stakes 2015 as a possible second-up option for his sprint stars Terravista and Chautauqua this Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.

Terravista

Group 1 winner Terravista is set to target the 2015 TJ Smith Stakes in Sydney this autumn. Photo: Steve Hart.

During the spring the pair ran the quinella in the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington in Melbourne with Captain Rio five-year-old Terravista beating home his youngster stablemate by a neck.

The exciting stablemates could now clash again more than once in the coming autumn season with Pride mapping out the campaigns of both horses.

The duo is set to resuming racing firstly with a trip to Melbourne for the $1 million Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 14.

From there the most likely next-up option is returning to Sydney for the lucrative $2.5 million Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on Doncaster Mile Day, April 4.

If either is successful in the Newmarket in their resuming run they will make history as no horse first-up from a spell has won the race since 1917.

Terravista will be the most highly-rated horse since then to try.

“He’s four from four first-up and, honestly, he’s never looked like getting beaten first-up. He’s a super horse fresh, he really is,” Pride told RSN’s Racing Ahead.

“I didn’t want to run in him in the (Group 1 Black Caviar) Lightning (Stakes over 1000m on February 21), I just think it’s an extra run he doesn’t need and I think he can win the Newmarket first-up.”

He posted his ninth career win from 13 starts in the Darley Classic during the Melbourne Cup Carnival, the win his fourth in Group company.

It followed from a luckless fifth in a blanket finish for the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on October 24 when under half a length off the winner Lankan Rupee, the fellow 2015 Newmarket Handicap hopeful now rated the world’s equal-highest-ranked sprinter along with Terravista.

Before that he won his opening two starts for the season in Sydney by two lengths each time taking out the Group 3 Show County Quality (1200m) on a Heavy (9) and the Group 2 The Shorts (1100m) on a Good (3) showing his versatility.

Encosta De Lago four-year-old Chautauqua meanwhile also won his opening two starts before the Darley Classic, but in Melbourne.

The lightly-raced Hawkesbury Guineas winner beat Group 1 champ Temple Of Boom home by two and a half in the Group 3 Bobbie Lewis (1200m) in September and then scored a great four length victory over Bounding in the Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) in early October.

Terravista will go on from the TJ Smith Stakes with a run over 1400m in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes back at the track on April 18, Pride thrilled with his progression since the spring.

“There won’t be anything spectacular happening until he goes off to the trials, but he’s in fantastic order and I couldn’t be happier with him,” he said.

“He’s bulked up, when he raced down in Melbourne I think his last start he weighed in the low 540s (kilos) but he’s 560-something now.”

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