Top 5 TJ Smith Stakes winners

Adam Cusworth in TJ Smith Stakes 31 Mar 2020
TJ Smith Stakes winners Black Caviar won the TJ Smith Stakes on two occasions

The TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) is a relatively new race on the Australian racing scene, first run in 1997. See who made our top 5 TJ Smith Stakes winners list. 

It is now regarded as one of the premier Group 1 sprints on the calendar, ranking alongside races such as the VRC Spring Classic (1200m) and the Newmarket (1200m). Here are our top 5 winners of the autumn feature.

Top 5 TJ Smith Stakes winners:

1. Black Caviar (2011 & 2013)

It’s pretty hard to go past Black Caviar as the best to have won the race. The mighty mare was unbeaten in her 25 race starts, 15 of which came at Group 1 level. She won the TJ Smith Stakes on two occasions. Her first was arguably her most memorable win ever, bridging a five-length gap on her gun-rival, Hay List, at the 300m mark before rocketing home. That was in 2011. Her last ever win was in the 2013 version of the race, making it a perfect 25.

2. Chautauqua (2015,2016,2017)

How good was the three-time winner, Chautauqua? The flashy grey, who loved to settle back, seemed to save his best for the TJ Smith Stakes, winning from 2015 through to 2017. Who can forget his stunning effort to overhaul English in the 2017 edition of the race? That was won of six Group 1 wins for the Hawkes galloper. They include a victory in the Chairman’s Sprint Prize (1200m) at Sha Tin at Hong Kong as well as a Lightning Stakes (1000m).

3. Takeover Target (2009)

The much travelled Takeover Target was purchased for just $1250 by his owner/trainer Joe Janiak, who was a taxi-driver in Queanbeyan, New South Wales, before shooting to fame via Takeover Target. His champion galloper rose from a Maiden win at Queanbeyan to conquer places such as Flemington, Royal Ascot and Singapore. He won eight Group 1 races, including the TJ Smith Stakes as a nine-year-old in 2009 ahead of the likes of Northern Meteor and Apache Cat in then race-record time.

4. Mahogany

One of the most versatile horses of the modern era, Mahogany streeted his rivals in the 1993 VRC Derby (2500m) before becoming one of the gun sprinters in his later years. He earned close to $4 million in prizemoney and was just pipped by Octagonal in the 1995 Cox Plate. He amassed eight career Group 1 and took out the first ever TJ Smith Stakes back in 1997, when it was an obscure Listed race, known as the Endeavour Stakes, before being renamed in 1999.

 

5. Apache Cat

The popular Apache Cat was a baldy faced galloper who retired with eight wins at Group 1 level and after claiming the Australian Guineas early in his career, he became renowned as a sprinter, with the remainder of his wins at the highest level coming over trips shorter than that of the Guineas’ 1600m. He claimed the T.J.Smith in 2008 ahead of Reigning To Win and Takeover Target.