2020 T.J. Smith Stakes Betting Tips, Best Bookmakers & Free Bets

The T.J. Smith Stakes might not be the most famous horse race to those not living in Australia, but it's a big deal in the local racing scene.

Named in honour of champion trainer T.J. Smith – father of Gai Waterhouse, the T.J. Stakes is one of the premier sprinting races on Day 1 of The Championships.

Only the very best Australian sprinters have taken out the popular betting race.

T.J. Smith Stakes Key Facts

DateSaturday April 5, 2020
ClassGroup 1
Race TypeWeight for age
Prizemoney$2.5 million

2020 T.J. Smith Stakes Tips & Betting Predictions

We will have 2020 T.J. Smith Stakes tips and betting picks when available.

T.J. Smith Stakes betting card 2020

Day 1 of The Championships is stacked with great racing and the T.J. Smith is the third of four Group 1 races on the premier card.

Race No.
Race Name
1Widden Anniversary Stakes
2Carbine Club Stakes
3Chairman's Handicap
4Country Championships Final
5P.J. Bell Stakes
6Inglis Sires' Produce
7Australian Derby
8T.J. Smith Stakes
9Doncaster Mile
10Adrian Knox Stakes

2019 T.J. Smith Stakes result

1st - Santa Ana Lane
2nd - Osborne Bulls
3rd - Sunlight

T.J. Smith Stakes history

There isn't much history to the T.J. Smith Stakes with the inaugural race being held in 1997.

The race is named in honour of champion trainer Tommy Smith, who won two Melbourne Cups, four Caulfield Cups and seven Cox Plates.

It didn't start off as a Group 1 race, but with so much stake money on offer it was upgraded to the highest status in 2005 and is now a part of the rich Championships.

The first winner was Mahogany in 1997 and it has since been won by Australia's best sprinters in history.

Apache Cat, Royal Ascot winner Takeover Target and Black Caviar all have their names on the trophy, but one horse has made the race its own in recent history.

Chautauqua won in 2015, 2016 and 2017 and has created some of the best finishes in thoroughbred racing history in the process.

It's last-to-first finishes have put the T.J. Smith Stakes on the map and it will continue to be one of the most exciting sprint races in the world.

T.J. Smith Stakes betting guide

The field is often full of top-quality horses and that has made it tough for punters to pick the winner of the T.J. Smith Stakes, but there's usually good value on offer.

Despite winning at odds of $4 in 2015 and $3.50 in 2016, Chautauqua paid a value price of $5.50 when winning in 2017 and there were some happy punters.

It has been a favourites race for some time with the likes of Lankan Rupee ($3.75) and Black Caviar ($1.14) starting as the well-fancied chances.

One of the more popular winners was Takeover Target in 2009. He was the feel-good story of Australian racing and the T.J. Smith Stakes seems to be synonymous with the good racing stories.

The best horse in the race typically wins and punters often lose sight of that during The Championships' main sprint feature.

T.J. Smith Stakes lead-up races

The William Reid Stakes and the Darley Classic are good lead-up races for the T.J. Smith Stakes.

They might be held the year prior, but there's not a lot of sprinting races on offer for the top echelon prior to the T.J. Smith and those two races will steer punters in the right direction.

T.J. Smith Stakes facts

  • The T.J. Smith Stakes was the final race for unbeaten champion mare Black Caviar, who also holds the race record of 1:08.71.
  • Chautauqua became the first horse to win three consecutive T.J. Smith Stakes' in 2017.
  • Six favourites have won the race since 1997 and Tommy Berry was won the race three times, all aboard Chautauqua.
  • Nash Rawiller and Luke Nolen have both won the race twice, with Nolen winning with Black Caviar in 2011 and 2013.