Multiple Group 1 winning sprinter Chautauqua sits at the top of the nominations for the 2017 Group 1 $500,000 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Randwick on Saturday.
With only eleven horses nominated for the weight for age Autumn sprint, the Australian Turf Club has extended the entry deadline until 11am Sydney Time on Tuesday, February 28, 2017.
Team Hawkes had indicated they would step Chautauqua up in distance after the world’s highest rated sprinter failed to pick up the first two placegetters Super Cash and I Am A Star when a first up third in the Group 2 $200,000 Schweppes Rubiton Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on February 11.
Chautauqua is the winner of the last two Group 1 $2.5m T J Smith Stakes (1200m) and Team Hawkes had originally set that as his main Sydney Autumn Carnival mission again at Randwick on April 1, but have now paid a late entry fee for the big grey for the Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile over 1600m on the same day.
“The T J is still in the mix. It just gives us an option now that we never had before. His next run or two will determine where he goes,” Hawkes told Racing NSW.
“People forget he won a Hawkesbury Guineas over 1400m and he should have won the All Aged over 1400m when Dissident beat him.”
Dual Group 1 winner Le Romain showed that he is in for a good Autumn Carnival with a first up win in the Group 3 $150,000 The Chi-X Southern Cross Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on February 13 and is also among the early nominations for the Canterbury Stakes.
Trainer John O’Shea has nominated last year’s Epsom winner Hauraki as well as promising three year old Impending.
Hauraki will be having his first run back since running second to Awesome Rock in the Group 1 $2m Emirates Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on November 5, the last day of the 2016 four day Melbourne Cup Carnival while Impending will be fitter for his first up sixth to Le Romain in the Southern Cross Stakes.
Other notable Group 1 winners nominated for the Canterbury Stakes are the 2016 Coolmore Stud Stakes winner Japonisme, the 2015 Doomben 10000 winner Music Magnate and the New Zealand 2000 Guineas winner Ugo Foscolo who is now prepared by Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott at Randwick.
The Pat Webster trained Happy Clapper, Tim Martin’s Heavens Above, Hobartville Stakes runner up Echo Effort and Queenslander Too Good To Refuse make up the remainder of the early nominations for the Canterbury Stakes.
Early market order for the Canterbury Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $2.60 Chautauqua, $3.50 Music Magnate, $6 Le Romain, Ugo Foscolo, $7 Impending, $11 Hauraki, $14 Japonisme, $19 Echo Effort, $21 Heaves Above, $34 Happy Clapper, $51 Too Good To Refuse.