The weekend’s racing action kicks off at Canterbury Park in Sydney on Friday night with some black type racing action, the evening’s headline event being the 2013 Canterbury BMW Classic.
Due to run as Race 5 at 9:00pm (AEST) this year’s edition of the $100,000 Listed Canterbury BMW Classic (1100m) has attracted a final field of nine hopefuls, the top-weight of which is Rick Worthington’s veteran Areana seven-year-old Whitefriars.
Drawn wide with gate eight to overcome the old warhorse is due to be ridden by Glyn Schofield on a hefty 61.5kg, giving a minimum 4.5kg away to their rivals, the same weight they carried in the Razor Sharp.
Winner of the Group 2 Australia Stakes at Moonee Valley on this night two years ago, Whitefriars has spent the bulk of the past 24 months sidelined with fitness issues and injury concerns having had just the one run since when a first-up eighth, beaten five lengths, behind Adebisi in the Listed Razor Sharp Quality (1200m) at Warwick Farm on December 22 last year.
They showed they were ready to get back to business however on January 15 with a blistering barrier trial win also at the Farm over 800m.
The next heaviest weighted Canterbury Classic 2013 hopeful is then the Peter Snowden-trained Skytrain, drawn ideally in gate four, with 56.5kg.
A Lonhro seven-year-old, Skytrain races third-up for the summer on Friday night having run sixth in the Razor Sharp before their extremely close third to No Looking Back in the listed Carrington Stakes (1100m) with just a long neck between them and the winner at Rosehill on New Year’s Day.
Darley’s head trainer Snowden has also accepted for the lightly-raced Sessions who has drawn the extreme outside gate.
The three-year-old Lonhro colt still has plenty of learning to do having been a notoriously tricky horse to ride over their five start career to date, but there is more than just a little bit of class there as they already boast three wins and two minor placings.
They were in the winners’ stall last start at Warwick Farm on January 5 when finally saluting for the favourite backers in a Benchmark 80 over 1000m, Kevin McEvoy in the saddle, and connections hope they can step it up in stakes company here.
Other notable hopefuls in the Canterbury BMW Classic field include the Matthew Dale-trained Canberra raider Unanimously to be ridden by Tommy Berry who is back to defend their title after winning this race 12 months ago, and the Kris Lees-trained Ad Valorem four-year-old Uate coming off a good third to Testaryhthm in the Listed Takeover Target Stakes (1200m) at Gosford on January 20.
Check out the full list of acceptances, barriers and weights in the table below.
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2013 Canterbury BMW Classic Final Field & Barrier Draw
Canterbury Race 5 – 9:00pm (AEST) – 25/01/2013
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||x1211321x8||WHITEFRIARS||Rick Worthington||Glyn Schofield||8||61kg||108|
|3||x4314x923x||UNANIMOUSLY||Matthew Dale||Tommy Berry||2||54.5kg||95|
|4||8960×30028||ZARATONE||Nick Olive||Ms Kathy O’Hara||5||54.5kg||95|
|5||09×7461203||UATE||Kris Lees||Brenton Avdulla||6||54kg||91|
|6||7255x7940x||JEST CREWSIN’||Jan Bowen||–||7||54kg||87|
|7||9286x1762x||DIDNTCOSTALOT||Marc Conners||Peter Robl||3||54kg||85|