Dual Group 1 winner and international performer Criterion is one of the big name nominations taken for the Canterbury Stakes 2015 at Royal Randwick on Guineas Day this weekend.
Racing NSW have extended the entries for this year’s $500,000 Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) until 11am (AEDT) on Tuesday after only 10 weight-for-age hopefuls were nominated today.
There is plenty of class among the original hopefuls however including the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained Sebring stallion Criterion.
Formerly with David Payne, under whose care the now four-year-old won the Rosehill Guineas – Australian Derby double last Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival, Criterion moved to Lindsay Park late last year.
His debut for his new stable was overseas in the Group 1 Hong Kong Cup (2000m) at Sha Tin on December 14 when running a brave third behind star locals Designs On Rome and Military Attack.
Back down under, Criterion is set to resume in the Canterbury Stakes.
Mares have dominated the race in recent years with three winning in the past four years including Appearance last year for the late Guy Walter.
Another strong contingent of female gallopers is in the mix again in 2015 including the Chris Waller-trained Catkins.
The five-year-old daughter of Dubawi ran third in the Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m) at Flemington to see out her spring last November before returning to Sydney on February 7 winning the Group 2 Breeders Classic (1200m) first-up.
She made it two on the trot then a fortnight later in the Group 2 Millie Fox Stakes (1300m), also run at Rosehill, giving her an undefeated record over the distance she sees in Group 1 company on Saturday if accepted.
Waller has entered three from his stables with Catkins possibly to be joined in the Canterbury Stakes field by Royal Descent and Sacred Falls.
Fellow mare, Redoute’s Choice five-year-old Royal Descent won the 2013 Australian Oaks over 2400m at Randwick but hasn’t been seen in the winner’s stall since.
She has been ultra-competitive in top class company since however including her second in an all-Waller first four in the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) last autumn.
During the spring she ran second four times on the trot, including behind two of her stablemates in the George Main Stakes and The Epsom Handicap at Randwick, before she failed to impress in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley when 12th of 14 runners last October.
Waller’s dual Doncaster Mile winner and recent George Main Stakes winner Sacred Falls meanwhile ran 11th in the Cox Plate and has run fourth in both his official Randwick trials in February leading up to his return.
Another Group 1 winner entered for the feature is the Gai Waterhouse-trained Northern Meteor four-year-old Cosmic Endeavour who own the Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) at Eagle Farm last June.
She missed the spring but returned on February 14 when fourth to Thump in the Group 3 Triscay Stakes (1200m) before backing up at Warwick Farm last weekend running second to Danesiri in the Group 3 Guy Walter Stakes (1400m).
Other notable Canterbury Stakes entries include Millie Fox Stakes third placed mare Avoid Lightning, the Anthony Cummings-trained William Reid Stakes runner-up last March Fontelina and Epsom Handicap third placed entire Hooked.
Stay tuned to Races.com.au for any late Canterbury Stakes 2015 nominations before the final field and barriers are out on Wednesday.
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2015 Canterbury Stakes Nominations
Royal Randwick – 07/03/2015
|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|