Just ten runners have been included in 2015 Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) nominations, to be run at Royal Randwick Racecourse this weekend as part of a particularly impressive nine race card.
Talented mare Catkins remains in the hunt for a maiden victory at the highest level through the 2015 Autumn Racing Carnival, and is set to be offered a great chance of success this weekend having been included in 2015 Canterbury Stakes nominations.
Taking out each of the Group 2 Breeders’ Classic (1200m), Group 3 Wiggle Stakes (1400m) and Group 2 Emancipation Stakes (1500m) most notably over the 2014 autumn, Catkins returned to racing for a strong win in the Group 3 Sheraco Stakes (1200m) in spring before minor place finishes in the Group 3 Golden Pendant (1400m, Group 2 Tristarc Stakes (1400m) and Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m).
Having commandingly taken out each of the Breeders’ Classic and Group 2 Millie Fox Stakes (1300m) this time in, the daughter of Dubawi is sure to lay a great account for herself once more this weekend.
Criterion was a standout performer over the entire 2014 Australian racing calendar, and has been nominated for a return in Saturday’s Canterbury Stakes.
Ending his autumn campaign with back-to-back victories in the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) and Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m), the Sebring entire returned in spring for a credible third in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) on August 23rd; progressing to agonizingly-close second place finishes in each of the Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m) and Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m).
Unable to finish in the minors whilst still performing well in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) and Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m), Criterion arguably secured a career-best result when placing a close third to Designs On Rome and Military Attack in the Group 1 Hong Kong Cup (2000m) at Sha Tin most recently on December 14th.
Hugh Bowman has been confirmed to take the ride on Criterion in the 2015 Canterbury Stakes, who will target the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) this time in.
Fontelina is arguably one of the country’s most talented runners yet to break through for a maiden Group 1 victory, and has also been nominated for a racing return in the 2015 Canterbury Stakes.
Posting six wins and four minor place finishes from his 24 career starts to date, Fontelina placed second in the 2013 edition of the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m); returning to the winner’s circle in the Group 2 Yellowglen Stakes (1200m) before a luckless run for fourth in the Group 1 VRC Sprint Classic (1200m) on November 9th.
Running an agonizingly-close second to Spirit Of Boom in the Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) most recently on March 21st, the son of Testa Rossa has performed well in two Randwick barrier trials in the lead-up to his racing return and is sure to pose a serious threat in the 2015 Canterbury Stakes.
Hooked undoubtedly found career-best form to date in 2014 and is also sure to react favourably to the conditions of the 2015 Canterbury Classic first-up on Saturday.
Running a credible third in the Australian Derby most notably in autumn, the Casino Prince entire charged home to win the Group 3 Tramway Stakes (1500m) on September 14th before running on for third in the major Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) on October 4th.
Returning to the winner’s circle in the Group 2 Crystal Mile (1600m) before boxing on for fifth in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) most recently, Hooked has trialled well over the last month and appears primed for success on Saturday.
The 2015 Canterbury Stakes final field and barrier draw is due to be completed and released by midday, Wednesday.
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2015 Canterbury Stakes Nominations
|1||AVOID LIGHTNING||Les Bridge||108|
|3||COSMIC ENDEAVOUR||Gai Waterhouse||108|
|4||CRITERION (NZ)||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||112|
|6||HOOKED||John P Thompson||104|
|7||LEEBAZ (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||101|
|9||ROYAL DESCENT||Chris Waller||112|
|10||SACRED FALLS (NZ)||Chris Waller||116|