Gai Waterhouse celebrated her seventh win in the race when the favourite Cosmic Endeavour banked in on her residual fitness winning the Canterbury Stakes 2015 on the seven day turnaround at Royal Randwick ahead of a Doncaster Mile bid this autumn.
Setting a smart new track record of 1:15.17, including the final 600m in 34.36 seconds, four-year-old Northern Meteor mare Cosmic Endeavour beat home the boys for her second win at the highest level in the $500,000 Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m).
Last winter in Brisbane she won the Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m), and her second gave Waterhouse a seventh Canterbury Stakes trophy – the first since star colt Pierro (2013) won two years ago.
All the money was on market mover Cosmic Endeavour who contested the weight-for-age feature third-up on the seven-day back-up looking rock hard fit after her close second in the Group 3 Guy Walter Stakes (1400m) at Warwick Farm last weekend.
Tommy Berry didn’t know the mare was running on successive Saturdays and so missed the winning Group 1 ride on her in the Canterbury having already committed himself to ride Leebaz.
Young Kiwi expat James McDonald picked up the gun ride and was thrilled to win his first of the day, Waterhouse celebrating her third Randwick Guineas Day victory.
“It’s a good feeling,” he said after the win.
“Gai’s always been a big supporter of me.
“I ran second in a Melbourne Cup and a second in a Magic Millions so it’s good to get one on the board.”
Tiger Tees was the fastest away to take the early lead up the inside before Cosmic Endeavour booted up on the rails to lead while Hooked settled third and the Chris Waller-trained Catkins, who was niggled in the early stages, settled fourth.
The favourite held the lead all the way to the end holding off her challenges when dropping her rivals at the 200m to race away, showing off her devastatingly brilliant turn of foot.
Catkins came off back-to-back Group 2 wins at Rosehill from February and really started to rally late.
She couldn’t sprint with the 57kg today however when Cosmic Endeavour made the dash and, while finding another gear late after looking under an awful lot of pressure at the top of the straight, couldn’t match the turn of foot of the winner.
On the line the speedy Cosmic Endeavour ($3.40) had three quarters of a length to spare over Catkins ($4.40) while Criterion ($12) ran a stellar third in his first run since finishing third in the Group 1 Hong Kong Cup (2000m) overseas in December.
The David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained third past the post looks right on track for a big autumn heading towards the riches of the two-day The Championships at Randwick in early April.
The Championships is also where Cosmic Endeavour is heading after Waterhouse confirmed that “absolutely” she would target the $3 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) on April 4.
“All bone and muscle and just a joy!” she said of the mare.
“This week, every single day she kept improving.
“It was just a joy to see her.
“I knew she was cherry ripe.”
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2015 Canterbury Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Randwick Race 7 – 07/03/2015
|1||9||COSMIC ENDEAVOUR||Gai Waterhouse||James McDonald||–||1||57kg||$3.30F|
|2||8||CATKINS||Chris Waller||Jim Cassidy||0.5L||3||57kg||$4.40|
|3||2||CRITERION (NZ)||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Hugh Bowman||1.3L||4||59kg||$12|
|4||5||HOOKED||John P Thompson||Blake Shinn||1.5L||2||59kg||$9.50|
|5||1||SACRED FALLS (NZ)||Chris Waller||Zac Purton||2.9L||7||59kg||$14|
|6||6||LEEBAZ (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Tommy Berry||3.1L||5||59kg||$9|
|7||7||ROYAL DESCENT||Chris Waller||Kerrin McEvoy||4.8L||6||57kg||$10|
|8||3||TIGER TEES (NZ)||Joseph Pride||Christian Reith||7.8L||8||59kg||$9|
|–||4||FONTELINA||Anthony Cummings||Brenton Avdulla||–||0||–||–|