TJ Smith Stakes Tips & Preview 2022

TJ Smith Stakes Tips & Preview

Looking for TJ Smith Stakes tips and best bets? We dissect times and form to find the winner of the 2022 TJ Smith Stakes at Randwick.


Some familiar names at the top of the market with the old sparring partners, Nature Strip ($2.60) and Eduardo ($3.60) the early favourites with bet365 after the barrier draw ahead of the fan favourite, Shelby Sixtysix ($8) and Masked Crusader ($8).

Paulele is next in line at the $15 quote, just ahead of the shock Newmarket Handicap (1200m) winner, Roch ‘N’ Horse at $17, while Count De Rupee ($21) and Overpass ($26) head the rest.


Three recent lead up races to look at and they are the Challenge Stakes (1000m), the Newmarket Handicap and the Galaxy (1100m). All of the 11 runners had their most recent start in one of those three lead ups.

Eduardo claimed the Challenge Stakes on a Heavy track here on March 5 ahead of Shelby Sixtysix, while Nature Strip ran 3rd.

Eduardo once again provided some very solid figures by going 15.3 lengths faster than standard benchmark, which are the best last start figures of any runner. Shelby Sixtysix has since gone on to claim the Maurice McCartin Stakes (1100m) and the Galaxy. More about him later.

Nature Strip and Eduardo have met on nine occasions and Nature Strip just holds the advantage at 5-4. He failed to show his usual acceleration in the Challenge Stakes but may be after the 1200m and was a winner of the Everest (1200m) at this stage last spring, stepping up from the 1100m after going down to Eduardo at his start prior.

In the autumn of 2021 he also went down to Eduardo in the Challenge Stakes before taking out the TJ Smith. Will we see history repeat?

Five runners had their last start in the Galaxy and it was Shelby Sixtysix that went 12 lengths faster than standard in the Rosehill Group 1 on a Heavy 9. He rises 6kg in weight and logic says that he cannot keep winning but the five-year-old has defied that in recent times. Hard to write off!

Most of the beaten brigade in the Galaxy had excuses and are all worth a bit of thought.

Was the win by Roch’N’Horse in the Newmarket a fluke? The Mike Moroney chestnut mare came over from New Zealand to score on the inside part of the track ahead of The Astrologist and September Run.

She went 12 lengths faster than standard until the 600m mark that day before going 12.2 lengths faster than overall standard. That compares well to the figures that Nature Strip has produced down the straight, while it is worth noting that September Run (3rd) has since come out and won at Group 1 level.

Masked Crusader, Zoutori and Count De Rupee all come out of the Newmarket and are better at the weights in comparison to the winner. Suspect that Masked Crusader is the obvious improver and will love the wet track on Saturday.


I expect Nature Strip to cross over from barrier 11 with James McDonald in the saddle and a number of these will look to box-seat. The race might shape well for the favourite and I do believe he is the one to beat. Third up form points to a big performance and at the weight-for-age conditions I am not sure how the likes of those that performed well in the Newmarket and Galaxy can test him, bearing in mind that Shelby Sixtysix did land in front of him in the Challenge Stakes. Best roughie in the race for mine is Overpass, who had no luck in the Galaxy, while Masked Crusader is always one to keep in mind for trifectas and first fours.




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