TJ Smith Stakes Spotlight On Giga Kick

Trainer prepared for increased expectation around star three-year-old sprinter

Clayton Douglas is excited to be returning to Randwick for a rich 1200-metre Group 1 with Giga Kick, but he knows things are different ahead of this Saturday’s $3 million T J Smith Stakes.

No longer is his stable star an untapped three-year-old going around at $21, as he was when he shocked the likes of Nature Strip in the $15 million The Everest last October.

That win plonked him firmly among Australian racing’s elite and Douglas is already used to the increased expectation.

“There wasn’t the pressure before The Everest, we were the underdog that day, but it is different this time around,” Douglas said.

“There is more expectation on us, but he’s had the perfect preparation and we now just need the week to go smoothly.”

A slashing third placing in the Group 2 Challenge Stakes (1000m) at Randwick on March 4 propelled Giga Kick to the head of betting on the feature sprint race on Day 1 of The Championships.

The son of Scissor Kick travelled to Sydney at the weekend with Douglas keen to stick to a formula that has worked in the past with the winner of five of his seven starts, who comfortably won a 900m Mornington jumpout last Wednesday.

“It is the same as what we did before The Everest and the same as before the Challenge Stakes,” the Mornington horseman said.

“He’s done most of his work down here and will have a gallop on Tuesday and then we’ll be right to go.

“His trial the other day was what I wanted, and I couldn’t be happier with the way he came through it.

“He’s a good traveller, so getting up there early gives him time to settle in.”

Giga Kick has been ridden by the injured Craig Williams at his past five starts but will have the services of champion Hong Kong jockey Zac Purton in the T J Smith Stakes.

– RAS NewsWire

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