Peter Moody cautious ahead of I Wish I Win return in TJ Smith Stakes

Peter G Moody fears a lack of recent match practice could come against defending titleholder I Wish I Win when he resumes against a crack field of race-fit sprinters in the T J Smith Stakes at Randwick.

A forecast for drenching rain in Sydney has many expecting a heavy track on Saturday and while I Wish I Win handles those conditions, Moody says tackling them fresh from a break is a different kettle of fish.

“He has handled the wet at Randwick, but that’s probably more taxing first-up than anything,” Moody said.

“Being realistic, you’ve got a horse first-up off a long break that is probably going to find wet ground, and his opposition is probably going to go there a fair bit fitter.

“I’m not kidding myself thinking we’re going there and just winning or anything like that, but he is forward enough to go and run well.”

I Wish I Win defeated Giga Kick to win the corresponding race last year on a heavy 9 surface, but he arrived third-up from a spell following placings in the Lightning Stakes and Newmarket Handicap.

This year he returns from a six-month break, having not raced since his brilliant half-length second to Think About It in The Everest in October.

With regular rider Luke Nolen still recovering from injuries suffered in a trackwork fall in January, James Mcdonald takes over the reins aboard I Wish I Win, who has eased to $4.40 with bookmakers, behind $3.20 favourite Imperatriz.

Moody also reported to stewards that I Wish I Win had undergone minor surgery to remove a bone chip in his right knee since his Everest run.

He will be one of two T J Smith Stakes (1200m) contenders for the stable, along with Birthday Card Stakes winner Chain Of Lightning, who Moody says will enjoy rain-affected conditions.

“She needs to lift considerably, but she does handle soft ground and she is fit and well,” he said.

Moody and training partner Katherine Coleman also have Legacies in the Carbine Club Stakes (1600m), while Autumn Angel is set to make a belated appearance in the Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m) following her race day withdrawal from last Saturday’s Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) on veterinary advice.

Moody has told stewards the filly has “recovered well from her injuries” and worked nicely this week, although both Autumn Angel and I Wish I Win will undergo vet inspections on Friday as a final safeguard.

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