The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
The Chris Waller-trained Night’s Watch has surpassed his last start conqueror as favourite in Kennedy Cantala Stakes 2019 betting at Flemington on Derby Day this weekend.
Victoria Derby Day features a bumper all-Group race card including four elite levels, the last of which is the Group 1 $2 million Kennedy Cantala Stakes (1600m).
The Kennedy Cantala Stakes field features a capacity line-up of 16 starters plus four emergencies with Night’s Watch the $6.50 favourite through Ladbrokes.com.au to hand Waller his fourth win in nine years.
Waller has enjoyed plenty of success in the race formerly known as the Emirates Stakes preparing winners Albert The Fat (2011), Boban (2013) and most recently the mare Shillelagh (2017).
This Saturday the master Sydney horseman saddles-up three confirmed Kennedy Cantala Stakes starters plus has the first emergency Noire lying in wait of a start.
Night’s Watch to be ridden by Damien Oliver is the best fancied following the Redwood six-year-old’s last start second in the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m).
He has had eight runs over the mile for five placings but no wins yet and hasn’t been first past the post since his Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) success in September last year.
Toorak Handicap winner Fierce Impact opened favourite in Kennedy Cantala Stakes betting this season to do the double but has eased out to $7.50 after drawing wide (17).
Last year’s Cantala Stakes winning jockey Craig Williams partners the in-form Matthew Smith-trained son of Deep Impact who is already a very valuable stallion prospect.
The Japanese-bred miler was runner-up to Waller’s $7.5 million Golden Eagle runner in Sydney on Saturday Kolding first-up in the Group 3 Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400m) before the 1.75 length Toorak victory.
Fierce Impact overcame a wide draw that day (15 of 18) so the alley looks a non-issue on Saturday, but he does rise from 54.5kg to 56kg for the Cantala Stakes 2019.
The two other single-figure hopes in the Cantala Stakes odds paying $9 each are the lightly-raced international Royal Meeting and market mover Star Of The Seas who is another for Team Waller.
Saeed Bin Suroor trains Invincible Spirit entire Royal Meeting, the European three-year-old having just his fourth career run.
Down under the galloper races as a four-year-old and he looks a likely improver dropping in weight (60kg to 56.5kg) after the brave third on debut in Australia on Caulfield Cup Day in the Group 3 Moonga Stakes (1400m).
Star Of The Seas carries 53.5kg form a good barrier, the Ocean Park five-year-old rising 3.5kg from the 50kg lightweight he carried to third behind stablemate Kolding on October 5 in the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m).
At longer odds chasing an upset are the likes of the Team Hawkes-trained Pierro four-year-old Rock ($11), the James Cummings-trained last start Spring Mile winner Cascadian ($12) in the outside alley for Godolphin and Chief Ironside ($12).
The David Menuisier-trained Chief Ironside is the other raider in the mix on the quick back-up after his upset win in the Group 2 Crystal Mile on Cox Plate Day.
Originally brought down under as a travel partner for Menuisier’s Cox Plate runner Danceteria, the French-bred Chief Ironside stole the show last weekend and is now out to prove his form racing on successive Saturdays.
“We’re going to roll the dice with him,” Menuisier told Racenet this week.
“When they run over a mile, you never know whether they have recuperated. I think it’s easier with a sprinter than a miler.
“Until you run again, you don’t really know whether the horse has fully recuperated.
“He gives us the right signals. He is bright and he is fresh enough.
“Last night he was full of himself when he was being led out on the track, he was kicking and bucking and rearing.”
Helping the Lawman entire is the drop from 59kg to 53kg with Stephen Baster replacing Jamie Spencer in the saddle.
“He won really well at The Valley but he’s back to handicap company this time, so he looks really well in,” Menuisier said.
“I don’t think he will be too fussed about the track really. I think it will suit him.”
2019 Cantala Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp. Rating|
|1||1x5Nx73803||BEST OF DAYS (GB)||James Cummings||James Doyle||14||57kg||108|
|2||14x32460x5||LAND OF PLENTY||Peter & Paul Snowden||Ben Allen||1||57kg||108|
|3||60110×6768||FIFTY STARS (IRE)||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Mark Zahra||3||56.5kg||107|
|4||3x8124x033||LIFE LESS ORDINARY (IRE)||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||19||56.5kg||107|
|5||11×3||ROYAL MEETING (IRE)||Saeed Bin Suroor||Dwayne Dunn||16||56.5kg||107|
|6||21x6720x21||FIERCE IMPACT (JPN)||Matthew Smith||Craig Williams||17||56kg||106|
|7||516×320662||CLIFF’S EDGE||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||John Allen||2||55.5kg||105|
|8||x34000x592||NIGHT’S WATCH (NZ)||Chris Waller||Damien Oliver||9||55.5kg||105|
|9||92450×1250||SO SI BON||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Luke Nolen||15||55.5kg||105|
|10||1510×50401||STREETS OF AVALON||Shane Nichols||Zac Spain||10||55.5kg||105|
|11||2170×46346||SIKANDARABAD (IRE)||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Jye McNeil||11||54.5kg||103|
|12||1x128x5471||CASCADIAN (GB)||James Cummings||Dean Yendall||20||53.5kg||101|
|13||x2128x1115||ROCK||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Tim Clark||12||53.5kg||101|
|14||113211×493||STAR OF THE SEAS (NZ)||Chris Waller||Michael Walker||5||53.5kg||101|
|15||37x6306x01||CHIEF IRONSIDE (GB)||David Menuisier||Stephen Baster||8||53kg||105|
|16||41650×6240||MAHAMEDEIS||Nick Ryan||Brett Prebble||6||53kg||100|
|17e||073447×545||NOIRE||Chris Waller||Craig Newitt||13||53kg||100|
|18e||251821×111||ADMIRAL’S JOKER||Kylie Vella||Ben Thompson||18||53kg||100|
|20e||0x105x0301||ICONOCLASM||Danny O’Brien||Stephen Baster||4||53kg||98|
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