A rematch between two of Gai Waterhouse’s superstars will play out at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday with reigning Doncaster Mile winner More Joyous taking on crack colt Pierro in the Canterbury Stakes 2013.
Elevated to elite level status this Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival, the $350,000 Group 1 Cellarbrations Canterbury Stakes (1300m) has drawn an impressive final field of 10 champions this year, the sure to be favourite of which is Lonhro three-year-old Pierro.
The three-time Group 1 winner resumed at this track on March 2 hanging on in a tight finish to win the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m).
They will have come on fitness-wise since that run and on a drier track second-up on Saturday will prove hard to beat despite the obvious step up in class here.
Pierro is drawn in gate seven with Jim Cassidy to ride and one of their main dangers will be stablemate More Joyous who is set to return to racing from barrier four with her long-term jockey Nash Rawiller in the saddle.
More Than Ready six-year-old More Joyous vies for her incredible ninth Group 1 title this weekend when she races for the first time since her 11th to Ocean Park in the Cox Plate, an event Pierro ran a brave third in.
More Joyous has a brilliant first-up record and won this race 12 months ago when resuming, the Canterbury then a Group 2 event, before a stellar autumn where she collected the Queen Of The Turf Stakes – Doncaster Mile – Queen Elizabeth Stakes treble.
There is a plethora of other Group 1 winners in the Canterbury Classic field this year including the Peter Moody-trained duo of Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes champ Moment Of Change (barrier nine) and Oamaru Force mare Mid Summer Music (barrier two).
Barley A Moment four-year-old Moment Of Change will be third-up on Saturday having run second to super mare Black Caviar in the Lightning Stakes first-up and then a close second when defeated a short half-head by Shamexpress in the Newmarket Handicap last time out.
Winner of Queensland’s richest race, the Stradbroke Handicap, last winter seven-year-old Mid Summer Music showed she still had form when resuming with a credible fourth in the Group 3 Liverpool City Cup (1300m) on March 9 carrying 59kg – her drop back to 57kg on Saturday to suit.
Other notable hopes then include local Encosta De Lago four-year-old Aeronautical coming off an eye-catching third in the Newmarket Handicap when just a long neck off the winner as an $80 roughie, and Grahame Begg’s talented Dubawi mare Secret Admirer racing for the first time since her third in the Emirates Stakes last spring.
See below for the full Canterbury Stakes 2013 field, barriers, jockeys and weights.
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2013 Canterbury Classic Final Field & Barrier Draw
Rosehill Race 8 – 4:50pm (AEST) – 23/03/2013
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||46x121501x||HAPPY TRAILS||Paul Beshara||Glen Boss||1||59kg||111|
|2||116122x48x||RAIN AFFAIR||Joseph Pride||Corey Brown||10||59kg||110|
|3||301x131x22||MOMENT OF CHANGE||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||9||59kg||109|
|4||111x13136x||SOLZHENITSYN (NZ)||Robert Heathcote||Damian Browne||6||59kg||108|
|5||12106x10x7||FONTELINA||Anthony Cummings||Peter Robl||8||59kg||98|
|6||42x2417x33||AERONAUTICAL||Lionel Cohen||Craig Williams||3||59kg||98|
|7||1111x1140x||MORE JOYOUS (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||Nash Rawiller||4||57kg||124|
|8||3x2235033x||SECRET ADMIRER||Grahame Begg||James McDonald||5||57kg||112|
|9||919x8731x4||MID SUMMER MUSIC||Peter G Moody||Joshua Parr||2||57kg||110|
|10||111x1123x1||PIERRO||Gai Waterhouse||Jim Cassidy||7||56kg||114|