Seven runners have been confirmed in the final field for Saturday’s 2016 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Royal Randwick; highlighted by the inclusion of several previous winners at the highest level of racing.
Criterion will make his long-awaited return in the 2016 Canterbury Stakes, is a noted first-up performer and should find a handy position from barrier 5.
A four-time Group 1 winner, Criterion progressed from an impressive third in the Canterbury Stakes first-up in 2015 to a close second in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) before charging home to take out the major Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) on Day 2 of The Championships.
Producing a number of strong performances in a trip abroad through winter, the Sebring entire resumed in spring for success in the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m); finishing second in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) before savaging the line for third in the Melbourne Cup.
Kermadec will also make his Autumn Carnival return in the Canterbury Stakes and will leave from the rails draw with leading hoop Hugh Bowman in the saddle.
Resuming in 2015 for fourth in the Group 3 Eskimo Prince Stakes (1200m), Kermadec placed third in the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) and fourth in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) before charging home to win the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m).
Returning in spring for fifth in the talent-rich Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m), the Teofilo entire ran second in the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) before taking out the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) on September 19th.
Running fourth in the Caulfield Stakes before failing to fire in the Cox Plate, Kermadec has trialled well in the lead-up to his competitive return and is sure to lay a great account for himself in the Canterbury Stakes.
Our Boy Malachi will leave from barrier 6 in the Canterbury Stakes, carries winning black type form into the race and will be very hard to beat at the conditions.
Debuting for Team Hawkes last summer for wins in each of the Listed Starlight Stakes (1100m) and Listed Razor Sharp Handicap (1200m), Our Boy Malachi resumed in late autumn for success in the Group 3 Hall Mark Stakes (1200m) before arriving in Queensland for third in the Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m).
Forced to return to the paddock after bleeding during the running of the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m), the Top Echelon gelding delivered a strong field a three length defeat in the Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) on January 30th.
First Seal is the only mare confirmed in the 2016 Canterbury Stakes field and could receive the run of the race from barrier 3 and only 57kgs in tow.
A Group 1 winner having taken out the 2014 edition of the Flight Stakes (1600m), First Seal returned in 2015 for second in the Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) before taking out the Group 2 Surround Stakes (1400m) on February 28th.
Running second in each of the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) and Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m), the Fastnet Rock mare was unlucky to miss the entire Spring Carnival through injury but returned this time for a smart win in the Group 2 Millie Fox Stakes (1300m) a fortnight ago.
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2016 Canterbury Stakes Field and Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||135x61239x||CRITERION (NZ)||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Kerrin McEvoy||5||59kg||115|
|2||431x52140x||KERMADEC (NZ)||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||1||59kg||113|
|3||x111x130x1||OUR BOY MALACHI||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Tommy Berry||6||59kg||109|
|4||614x24269x||ECUADOR (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||Tim Clark||4||59kg||103|
|5||111x5x111x||HAPPY CLAPPER||Patrick Webster||Brenton Avdulla||2||59kg||100|
|6||12x21226x1||FIRST SEAL||John P Thompson||Blake Shinn||3||57kg||109|
|7||3x38221x15||HOLLER||John O’Shea||James McDonald||7||56kg||105|