Multiple Group 1 winner Shoals has recovered from a minor foot injury and is fit to return to the race track in the Group 1 $2.5m T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on Day One Of The Championships on Saturday.

Shoals, above in red and white colours, is ready to tackle the 2019 T J Smith Stakes at Randwick. Photo by Steve Hart.

Shoals, above in red and white colours, is ready to tackle the 2019 T J Smith Stakes at Randwick. Photo by Steve Hart.

Shoals had to be scratched from the Group 1 $500,000 Keogh Homes William Reid Stakes (1200m) at The Valley on March 22 because of a bruised foot but showed she was back on track with tidy third in a 1045m Randwick barrier trial last Friday.

Sydney based jockey Tim Clark was on board the Fastnet Rock four year old for the trial and was happy with the Anthony Freedman trained mare’s action.

“It was a bit of a maintenance gallop really, just to keep her ticking over,’’ Clark told Racing New South Wales News Desk.

“She’s in great order, she trialled up probably as good as she will trial. She can be a bit lazy at times but she really dragged me through the line.’’

Shoals was beaten a lengths and a half at her first 2019 Autumn Carnival outing when second to Trapeze Artist in the Group 1 $500,000 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Randwick on March 9 and Clark thinks the Randwick trial was good enough to give her an excellent chance in the T J Smith Stakes.

“She’s had the benefit of that run and the trial so she’s going to present in good order and ready to go,” Clark said.

“There are plenty of good sprinters around so there’s nowhere to hide.’’

Shoals has raced successfully in Sydney during her two year old and three year old seasons and the Victorian trained mare had no problem handing the reverse way of  going with two wins at Randwick in the 2017 Group 2 $600,000 IG Share Trading Percy Sykes Stakes (1200m) and in the 2018 Group 1 $500,000 James Boag’s Premium Surround Stakes (1400m).

Shoals is marked at $11 for the T J Smith Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au who have the James Cummings trained Osborne Bulls and last year’s winner Trapeze Artist as the $5 joint favourites.

Early betting for the T J Smith Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $5 Osborne Bulls, Trapeze Artist, $7.50 Santa Ana Lane, $8 Pierata, Redzel, $10 Sunlight, $11 Shoals, $17 Graff, $21 Vega Magic, $26 Brutal, Easy Eddie, Encryption, Zousain, $31 Eduardo, Le Romain, Written By, $34 Spright, $41 or better the rest.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.