The 2016 Canonbury Stakes field has been released and the highly-rated Defcon is set to make his racing debut in the Group 3 event at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
Defcon stamped himself as a horse to follow when he produced an exceptional performance in a barrier trial over 838 metres at Royal Randwick on September 21, but Team Snowden elected to send him to the spelling paddock rather than give him a barrier trial during the summer period.
The Choisir colt returned with a third place finish in a barrier trial over 900 metres at Rosehill Gardens on January 4 and he scored another impressive win at Rosehill Gardens on January 19.
Defcon is likely to head to Melbourne after he runs in the Canonbury Stakes and he is currently available at 2016 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes odds of $8.
Kris Lees-trained Guard Of Honour, More Than Ready colt Pewter and narrow barrier trial winner Star Of Monsoon are also set to make their racing debuts in the Canonbury Stakes.
One of the most interesting horses in the Canonbury Stakes field is Godolphin-owned Tessera, who is the only horse in the field that has broken his maiden status.
Tessera made his racing debut in the Agribaba Aunong.Com Plate (1100m) at Royal Randwick on January 16 and he led from start to finish to record a very tough win.
Jexerlent finished fourth behind Tessera in the same race and will have the chance to turn-the-tables on his rival, while Team Hawkes are hopeful that Mount Panorama can produce an improved effort after he was beaten as a short-priced favourite.
The 2016 Canonbury Stakes field is rounded out by Matthew Smith-trained Kings Of Leon, who is set to have his second race start in the Group 2 event.
Kings Of Leon finished fourth behind Hostwin Legend in a barrier trial over 900 metres at Rosehill Gardens on January 4, but he was never able to get into the race when he made his racing debut behind Tesserra in the Agribaba Aunong.Com Plate.
The Canonbury Stakes is often a key lead-up race to the Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes and notable winners include Strategic (1994), Shogun Lodge (1998), Not A Single Doubt (2003), Sebring (2008), Hinchinbrook (2010) and Vancouver (2015).