After being upstaged by star 3yo Brazen Beau in the recent G1 Newmarket Handicap, Lankan Rupee, Terravista and Chautauqua face off again in this weekend’s G1 T. J. Smith The trio dominate the market with Chautauqua ($2.80), Terravista ($3.40) and Lankan Rupee, winner of this race last year, at $5.00. Could we see them upstaged again though? Top class mare Sweet Idea ($6.00) comes off an outstanding win the G1 The Galaxy Stakes (1100m) and is drawn to get the right run just off the speed. It’s been seven years since Gai Waterhouse, trainer of Sweet Idea, last one the race named after her father and to take it again by defeating the world’s best, would be the best way for Gai to do it.
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1. LANKAN RUPEE – C Newitt (4)
Returned from a spell with a dominant win in the G1 Lightning Stakes (1000m), defeating Brazen Beau by a comfortable 2.8 lengths and off the back of that effort, starting the 2/1 favourite for the G1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m). Sat outside of the field as they may way up the straight but just didn’t let down as he did first up, battling the 100m and finishing 4.3 lengths behind Brazen Beau. The 5yo has the runs on the board to be forgiven that performance, it was the first time in fourteen starts he has missed a place, and at best when rolling out in front. Expect him to do that here from four and bounce back.
2. TERRAVISTA – J Bowman (10)
Drew the inside gate when resuming in the Newmarket Handicap (1200m) three weeks ago and settled behind the speed. Jock was keen to get out of that position though and missed the opportunity to follow eventual winner Brazen Beau home along the rails. Did finally get into clear room but too late and finished steadily to claim third (3.3 lengths). Fitter for that run and has won four of his last five in Sydney, all at Group level, with the only blot on his record during that time coming in the G1 George Ryder over 1500m. Good enough to overcome the awkward draw.
3. CHAUTAUQUA – T Berry (9)
Last time we saw the Hawkes Racing runner in New South Wales, he finished fifth (2.2 lengths) in the Scone Guineas behind Cosmic Endeavour last May. Since then, in five starts, the grey son of Encosta De Lago has stamped himself as one of the country’s most exciting sprinters, winning three of those race and running second in the other two, including his most recent outing in the G1 Newmarket Handicap behind Brazen Beau. Had to wait and then force his way out at the 400m in the Newmarket, the same time the winner who was on pace, made his move. He chased valiantly and finished 2.8 lengths in arrears. Has run second in each of his Group 1 runs and doesn’t have to do much more to break through at the elite level.
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4. TIGER TEES – J McDonald (2)
Stable-mate and relation to Terravista, the 7yo gelding hasn’t raced since recording a disappointing last of eight first up in the G1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) early last month. That performance has been the exception to the rule after the past twelve months, especially on wet tracks which given the forecast in Sydney for the coming days, could well be the case come Saturday. Will push forward from an inside gate but track conditions imperative to his chances at this grade.
5. FAMOUS SEAMUS – T Clark (1)
As often is the case, the 6yo gelding was in need of the run first up in the G2 Challenge Stakes when fifth (3.3 lengths) before heading south to Melbourne for the G1 Williams Reid Stakes (1200m).
Drew wide (12) in the William Reid and had no choice but to drop back where he found himself with limited options heading into the short straight. He was only in the clear and warming up late. With more room, could’ve easily finished closer than the four length ninth behind Lucky Hussler than he did. Will likely need luck again after settling back from the inside gate here and need to produce a career best to be winning.
6. FONTELINA – Z Purton (8)
Anthony Cummings’ galloper stepped out for the first time in just over a year when contesting the G1 William Reid Stakes last Friday night. Drew the outside gate and settled well back and wide before being shunted wider still on the turn, effectively putting him out of commission. Balanced up and under hands and heels riding, finished eleventh (4.5 lengths) behind Lucky Hussler. Can only be better for that hit-out but still a big ask off such a break, to win an event of this calibre.
7. FAST’N’ROCKING – D Dunn (11)
Flashed home from well back to run third (3/4 of a length) behind Shamal Wind in the G1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) and was doing his best work late again at this next and most recent start, when third (2.5 lengths) in the G1 Galaxy (1100m). Had to search for runs through the centre of the field last start and with a clearer run, may have finished closer to winner Sweet Idea still. Going well but will find this tougher again being under WFA conditions which sees him carry 5kgs more than his last start.
8. RAIN AFFAIR – C Williams (6)
Been a long time since this now 7yo was competitive at the top level and judging by his two runs back from a spell this campaign, it’ll be a little while longer. He finished seven of nine (4.6 lengths) in the G2 Challenge Stakes (1000m) first up, weakening from a lead position before again failing to hold off the late challengers when fourth (2.9 lengths) in the G3 Star Kingdom (1200m). He won’t find this any easier and hard to see him figuring.
9. LORD OF THE SKY – D Oliver (7)
Robbie Laing’s 4yo stallion is still looking for a win seven runs into this campaign with his most recent efforts in the G1 events Oakleigh Plate and Newmarket Handicap. He finished a well beaten eleventh in the Oakleigh Plate before making the most of his light weight (52kgs) in the Newmarket, leading and holding on for fourth (3.6 lengths) to Brazen Beau. Jumps 6kgs on that run meaning he’ll have more than four odd lengths to improve to be winning here.
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10. SWEET IDEA – J Moreira (5)
Ultra consistent mare who returned with a much deserved G1 victory in the G1 The Galaxy Stakes (1100m), unleashing a strong finish from a midfield position to post an authoritative 2.3 length win over Kuro. Doesn’t run a bad race, has finished in the top four, four of her last five Group 1 starts and whilst the event is stronger again, she’s drawn to get every chance from gate five. Too honest to leave out of calculations.
11. PRESS REPORT – J Collett (3)
The 3yo filly recorded her second career win last start, finishing too well from near last to claim a BM 80 (1200m) at Warwick Farm. Struggled to match it with the leading 3yo’s last spring in the premier races and hard to imagine what part of last start’s victory encouraged connections to have a dip at this race. Rightly listed at big odds.
RACE OVERVIEW –
Only four you need to look at here. Lankan Rupee appears well overs if you’re prepared to forgive him last start. Won this race last year on a heavy track when leading throughout and will do the same again Saturday. Terravista will only be fitter for the Newmarket and in hindsight, jockey would’ve love to have kept his spot in the run rather than working away from that position. Likewise, Chautauqua had plenty to do in the run and was strong late. Always threatened to win a race like this and no surprise to see punters sticking with him however, his pattern does mean a few things need to go his way in the run. Sweet Idea is bomb proof. Couldn’t run a bad run if she tried and will ensure that the above trio need to bring their A-game.
1. LANKAN RUPEE
4. SWEET IDEA