The Kris Lees trained Guard Of Honour is the major market mover in the Group 3 $150,000 Canonbury Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
Ladbrokes.com.au opened Guard Of Honour at $13 when the final field was released on Wednesday and the Northern Meteor colt has been well supported as he firmed into $8 on Friday afternoon.
The Peter and Paul Snowden trained first starter Defcon remains the short priced favourite for the Canonbury Stakes at $2 and looks the one to beat following his impressive win in a recent 900m Rosehill barrier trial on January 19.
But debutant Guard Of Honour, a $300,000 Magic Millions yearling, also has been impressive at the trials with a four lengths win in an 845m Wyong trial on January 12.
Lees regards Guard Of Honour as the best of his two year old crop but is hesitant to rate him against all comers until he sees him perform on race day.
“He has been the most impressive of the (two-year-old) horses I’ve sent out so far in trials,” Lees told AAP.
“He’s a very nice horse. It’s whether it’s all come a bit quick and as with all two-year-olds, I’m always a bit guarded until I see them race day.”
And Lees is certain to come away from Saturday’s race with a definite idea of his place in the pecking order fo Sydney two year olds as he regards the Canonbury Stakes as a fairly good barometer.
“We’ll certainly know where we’re at because it’s a hot field,” Lees said.
Sam Clipperton takes the ride on Guard Of Honour and the colt will jump from barrier six.
Star Of Monsoon from the Gerald Ryan stable is another youngster who heads to the races for the first time on the back a Rosehill barrier trial win and is on the second line of betting for the Canonbury Stakes at $3.90.
The hype on Defcon has been that great that the Choisir colt is currently on the second line of betting at $7 for the Group 1 $1.5m Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on February 27 and a win in the Canonbury Stakes will most likely see him take over favouritism from Victorian colt Extreme Choice who heads the market order at $6.
Canonbury Stakes market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $2 Defcon, $3.90 Star Of Monsoon, $5.50 Tessera, $8 Mount Panorama, Guard Of Honour, $17 Pewter, $71 Kings Of Leon, $81 Jexerlent.