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Joe Pride’s widely-drawn top weight Ball Of Muscle is still considered one of the sprinters to beat at Canterbury Park on Saturday heading the Canterbury Classic 2016 field and betting markets.
Running as Race 7 at 4:20pm (AEDT) on the New Year’s Eve racing meet in New South Wales, this summer’s $150,000 Listed Canterbury Classic (1200m) line-up features the full 15 starters plus two emergencies.
Drawn out in gate 12, possibly into 11 at best with the spares out, is the returning Dubawi six-year-old Ball Of Muscle who was runner-up to Buffering in the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1000m) back in October of 2015.
The Group 2 winning galloper gives the weight away to all his rivals allocated 59.5kg with Brenton Avdulla booked for the weekend ride.
Ball Of Muscle was last seen running a close fifth to Illustrious Lad at Flemington on Derby Day in a Group 2 on October 29 beaten just over two lengths.
He has since won a Warwick Farm trial and has plenty of form fresh with two wins, three seconds and a third from seven first-up runs to date.
The gelding also heads to the track for a third time after a win back in June of 014 before his second to Barbed in that year’s Canterbury Classic.
Current Canterbury Classic odds at Ladbrokes.com.au have Ball Of Muscle safe in betting at $4.80, easing out slightly from his opening quote of $4.40.
He now occupies the second line of betting, surpassed by His Majesty ($4.60) who gets the rails run from barrier one on just 53kg.
Wyong trainer Kim Waugh saddles-up the Shamardal seven-year-old from the inside alley on the back of a brave third at Royal Randwick on December 17 in the Listed Razor Sharp Handicap (1200m).
His Majesty had Avdulla aboard that day, but for Saturday Jay Ford comes aboard for the light-weight ride.
Despite the size of the field just two other runners are currently under double-figures for the win in Canterbury Classic betting with market mover Flippant ($7 into $6) and Grunderzeit ($8.50).
The duo are drawn the far wide alleys out in 16 and 17 respectively, coming into 14 and 15 for Saturday.
Flippant, who ran fourth in the Magic Millions 3YO Guineas back in January, has Blake Shinn riding and the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Hinchinbrook mare runs for the first time since her Black-Type win on Melbourne Cup Day.
The four-year-old put 2.5 lengths on her rivals on November 1 giving her a good record over the distance (6-3-1-0) that she’ll be out to add to this weekend.
The John O’Shea-trained Grunderzeit meanwhile is a flying Godolphin-raced Street Cry gelding chasing a third straight win.
He is a Canterbury specialist boasting five wins and a second from six starts at the track, his latest start producing a 1.5 length win over Kuro on November 5 at the course over 1200m.
See below for the full Canterbury Classic 2016 field, barriers, jockeys, weights and latest Fixed Win odds on the Listed sprint courtesy of Ladbrokes.com.au.
2016 Canterbury Classic Field, Barriers & Odds
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