Small nominations for Canterbury Stakes

By: Mark Mazzaglia
March 2nd, 2015

Premier trainer Chris Waller has three entries in a small list of nominations for Saturday’s Group 1 $500,000 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Randwick.

Catkins will be trying to win her first Group 1 race in the Canterbury Stakes at Randwick. Photo by Steve Hart.

Catkins will be trying to win her first Group 1 race in the Canterbury Stakes at Randwick. Photo by Steve Hart.

The Australian Turf Club has been forced to extend nominations for the weight for age Canterbury Stakes until 11am on Tuesday March 3, 2015, after only receiving ten entries at closing time today.

The in-form Catkins and Waller’s Group 1 winners Royal Descent and Sacred Falls head the nominations along with the David Hayes and Tom Dabernig trained Criterion and Gai Waterhouse’s Group 1 winning mare Cosmic Endeavour.

Waller has been forced to look for a new jockey for Catkins after regular rider Hugh Bowman elected to stick with Criterion.

Bowman has a long association with Catkins including riding her to victory at two runs this preparation in the Group 2 $175,000 NSW Thoroughbred Breeders Classic (1200m) at Rosehill on February 7 and the Group 2 $175,000 Blackwoods Sidchrome Millie Fox Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill on February 21.

But the premiership winning jockey also has a winning history with Criterion with the pair taking out a Group 1 winning double during the 2014 Sydney Autumn Carnival with victories in the $500,000 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) at Rosehill and the $2m BMW Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick.

Bowman also travelled to Hong Kong at the end of the 2014 Spring Carnival and finished third on Criterion in the Group 1 HK$25m Longines Hong Kong Cup (2000m) at Sha Tin on December 14.

Royal Descent will also be resuming in the Canterbury Stakes and had a solid hit out with stablemate Adelaide in between races at Warwick Farm on Saturday, pleasing Waller.

“She is very forward and she went as I expected for a horse which will be racing in seven days,” Waller told AAP.

Four times Group 1 winner Sacred Falls is another who is resuming and has been fitted for his return with two recent Randwick barrier trials in which the five year old finished fourth on both occasions.

Cosmic Endeavour showed that she was working her way back into form with a last start second to Danesiri in the Group 3 $150,000 Guy Walter Stakes (1400m) at Warwick Farm last Saturday and Waterhouse could back her up this week.

The rest of the nominations are made up by  Group 1 winner Manawanui, Group 2 winners Fontelina and Hooked and Group 1 placed Avoid Lightning and Leebaz.

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