Christmas Cup win would be Sweet for Smith
Matthew Smith is literally hoping Sweet Thomas can deliver the Christmas Cup to the North Pole when the veteran stayer lines up in the Listed feature at Randwick.
Sweet Thomas sports the blue and white colours of Sydney entrepreneur Nick Sheehan, who races under the North Pole Pastoral banner.
The former German galloper, who won the Stayers Cup (3200m) in June, returned to Smith’s Warwick Farm base following a strong-finishing fourth behind Carif in the Sandown Cup last month.
“He just got too far back at Sandown but his run was outstanding,” Smith said.
“It’s a bit of a concern coming back to 2400 metres as the horse has never won over the distance but he’s done really well since we got him back and he’s in great shape for Saturday.
“It looks the right race for him but we need a few things to go his way.”
Smith indicated the stayer would return to Melbourne after Saturday’s assignment to run in the Listed Bagot Handicap (2800m) at Flemington on New Year’s Day.
Eminent Sydney owners Francis and Christine Cook, who have been long-time supporters of the Smith stable, are also part of the Sweet Thomas Syndicate.
However, the Cooks’ attention will be divided on Saturday as they will also be represented by the Chris Waller-trained Accountability who is the $2.60 favourite with TAB fixed odds for the Christmas Cup.
Smith will also saddle up the Cook family-owned Festival Dancer for her debut in the $500,000 Inglis Nursery (1000m).
“She’s a scopey type who will probably be better when she gets to 1200 metres but tomorrow will be a good experience for her,” Smith said.
“She’s definitely got ability but she’s drawn a bad gate and it will probably be a bit sharp for her.”
The $33,000 Classic yearling purchase is by Choisir out of Irish mare Festival Princess and is from the same family as Star Of The Seas and Spieth.
Meanwhile stable star Fierce Impact, also partly owned by the Cooks, is due back at Warwick Farm on Monday to be prepared for what could possibly be the three-time Group One winner’s final campaign.
Fierce Impact, who edged out Russian Camelot to win the Group One Makybe Diva Stakes in September, was recently announced the joint Australian Champion Middle Distance performer for last season.
“We’ll set him for a few of the big mile and 2000 metre races in the autumn then he’ll probably go to stud somewhere,” Smith said.