NSW analyst Mark Rhoden brings you his Group 1 Canterbury Stakes Preview ahead of Saturday’s meeting at Randwick.
No nailed-on leader as far as I can see. Fell Swoop, Brutal and Cool Passion will all be up there, and Trapeze Artist has been let stride in his last two trials and could even take it up himself.
Shoals will be off them but should get a nice trail. Kementari will be midfield or slightly off it on the inside, and Pierata may have to go back for cover from the outside gate.
#1 TRAPEZE ARTIST
Failed on soft ground first up when wasn’t fully wound up. Has turned in two excellent trials since which should have him nearer to his top, which would make him very hard to beat in this.
Won first-up last preparation, although he’d had two trials before that win and comes into this off only one. Certainly a chance – and any rain on the day won’t hurt him – but he’s a drawn a bit awkwardly and may have to go back for a trail.
Beaten as favourite, again, first-up. He’s yet to win as a four-year-old and is becoming costly. The blinkers go back on here but it’s beginning to look like he won’t reach the heights that were forecast for him as a three-year-old.
#4 FELL SWOOP
Tough, honest sprinter who is probably short of the mark at WFA in this class these days.
The big query in the race for mine. A repeat of her slashing second to Santa Ana Lane in the Premiere Stakes last spring would give her a great chance in this, but it’s hard to know if she’s primed to go to that level first-up. A definite winning chance if wound up.
#6 PROMPT RESPONSE
Ex-Waterhouse/Bott, resuming for Waller here. Likely to fall short at WFA in this class.
#7 COOL PASSION
Honest mare but tested at WFA.
Lightly raced three-year-old who worked in the run as a short favourite first-up. Will get a better run here and is fitter. Needs to improve to win in this class but he has upside.
The weather on the day will play a part in my final decisions here, but assuming it’s not too bad, happy to be with Trapeze Artist.
His trials suggest he’s ready to produce something near his best, and that would give him a chance in any sprint race in Australia.
Pierata can certainly win if he’s ready, but not sure he’ll be forward enough off one trial and he may get back from his gate.
Shoals is the one I’m most wary of – if she’s wound up, her early price is over the odds, but who knows? Kementari looks under the odds and can risk at the early price.
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