A small but classy field of seven are set to line up in the Group 1 $500,000 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Randwick on Saturday.
Group 1 winners First Seal, Criterion and Kermadec have put a lot of quality into the field to match the sprinting abilities of Our Boy Malachi, Happy Clapper and Holler.
The John Thompson trained First Seal was back in the winner’s circle following a long lay off because of injury and resumed for an impressive first up victory in the Group 2 $175,000 Millie Fox Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill on February 20.
First Seal has drawn barrier three in the seven horse field and will be ridden again by Millie Fox Stakes winning jockey Blake Shinn.
Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner Criterion and Doncaster Mile winner Kermadec are both resuming for the Autumn Carnival.
The David Hayes and Tom Dabernig trained Criterion will be having his first run back in Australia since finishing ninth to A Sin Hikari in the Group 1 HK$25m Longines Hong Kong Cup (2000m) at Sha Tin on December 13.
Criterion has drawn barrier five with Kerrin McEvoy to ride.
Trainer Chris Waller has put the blinkers on Kermadec to begin his Autumn Carnival campaign with Hugh Bowman taking the ride on the four year old who will jump from the inside gate.
Waller has given Kermadec two Rosehill barrier trials in preparation for his return, a fourth over 905m on February 1 followed by a second over 900m on February 15.
Our Boy Malachi scored an explosive first up win in the Group 2 $200,000 Expressway Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on January 30 and Team Hawkes are ready to step him back up Group 1 company this week.
Our Boy Malachi is the winner of eighteen of his twenty-two race starts with two of his defeats being at Group 1 level during the 2015 Brisbane Winter Carnival.
The former North Queensland trained sprinter finished third to Hot Snitzel in the Group 1 $500,000 BTC Cup (1200m) and then last of sixteen in the Group 1 $750,000 James Boag’s Premium Doomben 10000 (1350m) both at Doomben.
Tommy Berry was aboard for Our Boy Malachi’s all the way win in the Expressway Stakes and will have no trouble finding the front again from barrier six.
Brenton Avdulla combined with Happy Clapper to score a hat trick of wins over the Spring-Summer period which included a win in the Group 2 $250,000 Inglis Villiers Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on December 12.
The Patrick Webster trained Happy Clapper has drawn barrier two with Avdulla taking charge of the reins again.
Holler from the John O’Shea stable has drawn the outside of the field with James McDonald to ride while Gai Waterhouse will saddle up Ecuador with Tim Clark from barrier four.
Canterbury Stakes market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $2.30 First Seal, $2.50 Our Boy Malachi, $5.50 Kermadec, $7.50 Criterion, $18 Holler, $21 Happy Clapper, $41 Ecuador.