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CANTERBURY STAKES PREVIEW

By Phil Purser
19/03/2010
This is Black Piranha heading off to the barriers in Brisbane. If he doesn't win tomorrow, he's grossly overrated, as this is an easy race to win.
It’s been an Irish sort of week, but it gets even more Irish tomorrow at Rosehill when the Canterbury Stakes is run at Rosehill.
 
The Canterbury Stakes was first run at that what I’d call “not up to metropolitan standard” Saturday track of Canterbury way back in 1929 when champion Amounis lumped 9 stone 6 pounds (60 kgs) to beat Paganelli which also had the same weight. Interestingly, that impost carried by Amounis remains to this day the weight carrying record for the race. Two years prior to Amounis winning the Canterbury Stakes he’d won the Cox Plate. He also ran second in 1929 Caulfield Cup before winning that race the following year with 9 stone 8 pounds (61 kgs).
 
Some of the greats of the Australian turf have won the Canterbury Stakes and they include Shannon (1947), Sky High (1961 and 1962), Baguette (1971), Manikato (1982), Emancipation (1983), Sir Dapper (1984), Placid Ark (1987), and Dance Hero (2005). So as you can see from that the race has gone off the boil a bit in the last 25 years.
 
In an interesting fact about the race, the top gallopers Sky High and Wenona Girl clashed in three successive running of this race – 1961, 1962 and 1963. In 1961 and 1962 Sky High won, with Wenona Girl running second. In 1963 Sky High got beaten by the lightweight Kevejon and clocked in second. Guess who ran third? Yep, you guessed it  – that pretty chestnut coloured mare Wenona Girl.
 
Wenona Girl was a full sister to two other handy gallopers – Grammar Lad and Emblem.
 
My thoughts on this year’s Canterbury Stakes are:
 
HORSE
COMMENT
TURFFONTEIN
(SCRATCHED)
BLACK PIRANHA
A Group 1 winner so he’s fairly classy. Couldn’t win the Cameron Handicap at Newcastle when first up last campaign, resuming off a 14 week break and he’s had 19 weeks off this time, but these are primarily ordinary gallopers.
DUPORTH
His two runs back have only just been fair runs - and I have no idea why he needed to change stables.
TRIPLE HONOUR
Ran second at $13 when tipped here first up. Hasn’t won for over 18 months, so that’s a concern.
MR BARITONE
Prefer on a wet track.
DREAMSCAPE
His two runs back have been on wet tracks, so prefer on wet tracks.
HOT DANISH
A grossly overrated mare that went terribly at a couple of runs last time in, for what are normally considered to be her capabilities. I’m convinced she was sore last campaign - and I wouldn’t back her again until I saw her do it - and she’s a short priced favourite here.
CHINCHILLA ROSE
Has lost a leg since leaving the Steele Ryan yard and going to “top trainer” Chris Waller.
DEMERIT
Not much good and stuck his head out at the right time to win the Group 3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude. If he can win this, it doesn’t say much for the rest – and he’s in the market.
 
 
CONCLUSION: Back Black Piranha each way. If he can’t win this race, barring bad luck, he’s simply grossly overrated.

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