Nine talented runners have been confirmed in the 2015 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) final field, highlighted by the inclusion of several previous winners at the highest level of racing.
Talented mare Catkins is surprisingly yet to break through for a maiden win at the highest level, but is offered a great chance of 2015 Canterbury Stakes success at being allocated the ideal barrier 3.
Posting fourteen wins and a further ten minor places from her 29 competitive starts so far, Catkins won each of the Group 2 Breeders’ Classic (1200m) and Group 3 Wiggle Stakes (1400m) upon resuming in 2014; running third in the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) on March 22nd before returning to the winner’s circle in the Group 2 Emancipation Stakes (1500m).
Failing to finish outside the places over four black type starts through spring, the Dubawi mare has taken out each of the Breeders’ Classic and Group 2 Millie Fox Stakes (1300m) this season, but will not be partnered by regular jockey Hugh Bowman on Saturday, who has elected to take the ride on Criterion in the 2015 Canterbury Stakes.
A standout performer over the 2014 Australian racing calendar, Criterion ran fourth in the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) first-up before placing an agonizingly-close second to Shamus Award in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m).
Unable to match the late pace in the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m), the Sebring entire responded in the best way possible in charging home to win the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) and Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) back-to-back.
Returning in spring for several commendable results, including second in each of the Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m) and Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m), Criterion ran third in the major Group 1 Hong Kong Cup (2000m) at Sha Tin in December and is reportedly in great condition ahead of his racing resumption.
Tiger Tees and Cosmic Endeavour each broke through for maiden Group 1 victories in 2014 and have been confirmed in the 2015 Canterbury Stakes final field.
Taking out the Listed Falvelon (1200m) upon resuming in 2014, Tiger Tees appeared to be out of his depth when placing ninth in the Group 2 Challenge Stakes (1000m) on March 15th, but silenced all critics when charging home to take out the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) on March 29th.
Placing fourth in the Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) and third in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m), Tiger Tees returned in spring for back-to-back wins in the Group 3 Aurie’s Star Handicap (1200m) and Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) before placing a close second to Lucia Valentina in the Group 2 Tramway Handicap (1400m).
Running fourth in the Listed Derby Munro (1200m) before placing second in the Group 3 PJ Bell Stakes (1200m), Cosmic Endeavour undoubtedly hit career-best form over winter; winning the Group 2 Sapphire Stakes (1200m) in Sydney before taking out each of the Group 2 Dane Ripper Stakes (1400m) and Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) in Brisbane.
Allocated the rails draw, Cosmic Endeavour will be partnered by in-form hoop James McDonald this weekend.
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2015 Canterbury Stakes Final Field and Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||412x44140x||SACRED FALLS (NZ)||Chris Waller||Zac Purton||8||59kg||116|
|2||1x3722753x||CRITERION (NZ)||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Hugh Bowman||4||59kg||112|
|3||91437x112x||TIGER TEES (NZ)||Joseph Pride||–||9||59kg||112|
|4||0x9214x02x||FONTELINA||Anthony Cummings||Brenton Avdulla||7||59kg||108|
|5||34x471315x||HOOKED||John P Thompson||Blake Shinn||2||59kg||104|
|6||x11212x84x||LEEBAZ (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Tommy Berry||5||59kg||101|
|7||525x22220x||ROYAL DESCENT||Chris Waller||Kerrin McEvoy||6||57kg||112|
|8||x4x1233x11||CATKINS||Chris Waller||Jim Cassidy||3||57kg||110|
|9||4213111×42||COSMIC ENDEAVOUR||Gai Waterhouse||James McDonald||1||57kg||108|