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Lankan Rupee is the highest rater in the TJ Smith. Image courtesy of:

The TJ Smith doesn't have a long history like the three other time-honoured Group 1 events on the re-scheduled opening day of The Championships at Royal Randwick. The Australian Derby dates back to 1861, the Doncaster 1866 and Sires' Produce Stakes 1867. But the 1200m dash has come a long way since it began as the Endeavour Stakes in 1997. Prize money has gone from $300,000 to a whopping $2.5m in just 18 years. 

The honour role includes two horses which enjoyed international success, Black Caviar and Takeover Target.

In the 19th edition, Lankan Rupee is back to defend the crown he won brilliantly by two lengths in the wet last year. Again, the champ has some tough challengers.  

Leading TJ Smith Contenders

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Lankan Rupee (5yo gelding, 58.5kg)

Terravista (5yo gelding, 58.5kg)

Trainer: Mick Price

Jockey: Craig Newitt

Trainer: Joe Pride

Jockey: Hugh Bowman

Record: 22: 11-3-3

Stakes: $3,995,510

Record: 14: 9-1-1

Stakes: $1,258,505

Barrier: 4

Fixed Price:

Barrier: 10

Fixed Price:

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Sweet Idea wins Magin Million 3YO Guineas. Image courtesy of:
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Chaatauqua (4yo gelding, 58.5kg)

Sweet Idea (4yo mare, 56.5kg)


Trainer: Team Hawkes

Jockey: Tommy Berry

Trainer: Gai Waterhouse

Jockey: Joao Moreira

Record: 12: 5-5-0

Stakes: $867,500

Record: 19: 8-7-1

Stakes: $2,415,350

Barrier: 9

Fixed Price:

Barrier: 5

Fixed Price:

Lankan Rupee (118) is still the highest ranked runner in the race, but was ordinary in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap.  However, this is WFA and his trainer reported the son of Redoute's Choice pulled up with some muscle soreness. He is one for one at the track and distance, and meets a couple of his rivals better at the weights.

Terravista  is having just his second run this campaign and has won three of his four starts second up. He beat Cautauqua and Lankan Rupee fair and square in the Group 1 Darley Classic during the Melbourne Spring Carnival at Flemington over this 1200m distance. In fact, the son of Captain Rio has won four of six at six-furlongs and is four from four at Randwick. Joe Pride's star also handles the wet, but has drawn one from the outside.

From the Hawkes yard, Chautauqua  is a popular pick after a winning return in the Group 2 Rubiton Stakes and a fast finishing second to Brazen Beau in the Group 1 Newmarket. He did the same thing when runner-up in the Darely Classic, again down the Flemington straight-six. The four-year-old son of Encosta De Lago is definitely a star on the rise, but he's yet to prove himself on rain-affected going.

For more facts and figures on the TJ Smith, click on the Tatts Stats button below!


Chris Bombolas - Tatts Senior Writer

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