Only seven runners have been confirmed in the final field for Saturday’s Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Royal Randwick; figuring as a particularly interesting race from a better perspective and offering plenty of value.
Classy mare First Seal has remained outright favourite in 2016 Canterbury Stakes betting markets with Ladbrokes.com.au and is currently available at a quote of $2.70 ahead of Our Boy Malachi ($3.40) and Kermadec ($6).
Will First Seal justify favouritism and post her second win at the highest level in the Canterbury Stakes or will one of her talented rivals find the line first?
Our Boy Malachi ($3.40)
Team Hawkes runner Our Boy Malachi should receive a dream run in the lead in the Canterbury Stakes, has been confirmed to be partnered by notable hoop Tommy Berry and carries excellent form into the race. Unlucky to miss the entire Spring Carnival after suffering a bleeding attack in the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) in May, the Top Echelon gelding trialled well in the lead-up to his return in the Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) and stamped himself as a serious autumn contender with a comfortable three length win. Our Boy Malachi should receive a relatively soft run on pace and undoubtedly has the best turn of foot of all seven runners confirmed for the Canterbury Stakes.
Kermadec is arguably the ‘unknown quantity’ in the Canterbury Stakes field because he will contest the race first-up, but on class alone he is sure to be right in the finish of the race and represents terrific value at $6 odds to win or $2.70 to place. Capping an impressive autumn campaign with success in the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) last year, the Teofilo entire continued to impress through five spring starts highlighted by a second win at the highest level in the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m). Allocated the rails draw, Kermadec will be partnered by leading hoop Hugh Bowman.
Criterion is a noted first-up performer, should find a great position from barrier 5 and is undoubtedly the class horse of this small field; therefore more than worth consideration for a Canterbury Stakes bet at $9 odds or $3.80 to place. Capping his autumn campaign in 2015 with a commanding win in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m), Criterion returned from a credible trip aboard to win the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) in October. Progressing to second in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m), the Sebring entire ended his Australian spring campaign an impressive third in the Melbourne Cup.
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