Race eight at Randwick on Day 1 of The Championships is the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes run over 1200m. The $2.6 Million in prize money has attracted a cracking field of sprinters. Punters face the task of assessing some of Australia's most seasoned sprinters against the top rising stars on a drying Randwick track.
14. Russian Revolution made a significant statement when winning first-up a few weeks ago on a heavy 10. He's only missed once from six starts but this is his first time racing outside his age group. He should go to the lead with his good early speed and then they will have to mow him down in the straight to beat him.
1. Chautauqua has been honest in each of his runs back this preparation. Gets to his favourite distance here. Will be running on and gets close if the pattern suits and he finds the best part of the track in the run home.
13. Astern rates well on his Roman Consul run when a close second to Russian Revolution who led holding a slow tempo. Expect a different pattern in this race. Reports are that O'Shea has him ready with three trials since late January. Unbeaten first-up. Goes close.
2. Malaguerra had to push-up from a wide barrier to sit-up outside the leader without cover last start. Before that beat the winner of that race, Black Heart Bart, over 1200m in record time. Don't dismiss.
7. Spieth was very good fresh when a close second in the G1 Lightning. Race pattern was against him in the Newmarket. Has the ability to figure in this race.
12. English was excellent fresh in heavy going then failed at her recent outing in similar conditions. Capable mare but a little unpredictable these days.
6. Fell Swoop can figure if he can find his form from previous preparations. Can provide excuses for both runs this preparation. Needs his 'A' game to figure here.
Of the others....
5. Japonisme had excuses in both starts this campaign. Was third, 1.2 lengths away in last year's Manikato. Can match it with them if he produces his best.
9. Rock Magic came back nicely in the William Reid. His second in the G1 Winterbottom puts in this. Can't dismiss.
1st Astern measures up well here on his Roman Consul run. Hard to argue with his first-up form.
2nd Russian Revolution looks the one to beat and will shorten quickly in the running if they let him have his way in front.