By Brad Gray
Spieth was the name on the lips of many punters at the back end of the spring carnival and he’s set to make his mark over the autumn, with the $2.5m TJ Smith Stakes firmly in his sights.
“He had a month off and is in the preliminary stages of his fast work now. We’d like to trial him at the end of the month,” Bryce Heys said of his stable star.
“The last 12 months he has been programmed as a four-year-old into the Sydney autumn. He’s a four-year-old stallion and he has furnished into a magnificent colt. We’re certainly happy with where he is at.”
Spieth's brilliant first-up victory last preparation
The Thorn Park sprinter will kick off his campaign in Melbourne in mid-February before aiming up at what shapes to be a crack edition of the TJ Smith.
“He’ll run in the Lightning (Feb 18) and depending on what he did in the Lightning, the Newmarket, and if he proved himself in those two runs and is good enough to compete with the best of them, then we’d love to run him in the TJ.”
“I don’t want to be left with a horse that hasn’t had at least one or two runs before the TJ Smith because of the weather. You can’t win that race without having those necessary conditioning runs under the belt.”
“I think you’ll see a crop of sprinters through this autumn that are going to rate very highly. The three-year-olds, my horse, Mick Kent has Supido then you’ve got the older horses as well. It always is but it’ll be a great crop of sprinters for sure.”
— Ellerslie Lodge (@ellerslielodge) December 21, 2016
Spieth is currently an $8 chance with TAB for the TJ Smith, on the third line of betting alongside Coolmore winner Flying Artie. Chautauqua, who shoots for three straight TJ wins, is $4.60 favourite ahead of Astern at $6.