2013 Canterbury Stakes: Preview, tips and live blog

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    The Canterbury Stakes over 1300m under weight-for-age conditions will be run as a Group 1 race for the first time. Join our coverage here on The Roar in the lead up to the 4.50pm AEDT jump time.

    What has been shaping up as a match race between Gai Waterhouse stablemates runs much deeper than the headline clash between Pierro and More Joyous.

    Beyond the two, there are a whooping seven other Group 1 winning horses in the field.

    The Waterhouse-trained pair will command the majority of action in the betting markets and rightly so.

    More Joyous returns once more to the Sydney autumn carnival where she dominates each year. She will be running first up in an attempt to join Holdfast as the only horse to win the race three times, after claiming victory in 2011 and 2012.

    The six-year-old mare will be looking to add to her eight Group 1 victories. In eight first up attempts, she has only missed out on the placings once and that was in her debut run back in 2009.

    Of those seven other first up runs, five have been victories with two runs for third.

    She is by far the most decorated horse in the field and it would be a shock if she ran a bad race.

    Her biggest challenge appears to be stablemate Pierro. The Lonhro colt is stepping back up the older ranks after winning the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes by a nose, three weeks ago.

    He’s stepping up in class today and will benefit by a substantial weight allowance as a three year old. One observation to note is Pierro will be stepping down in distance today to 1300m after running 1400m in the Hobartville.

    Struggling immensely over the final 100m in the Hobartville, it is still not clear whether this colt is a sprinter or a miler. When Pierro and More Joyous clashed in the Cox Plate, Pierro comfortably accounted for his more seasoned stablemate but the two meet under different circumstances here.

    Pierro is still unbeaten in Sydney and blinkers will be worn today after Waterhouse thought he lost focus without them in the Hobartville.

    Aeronautical and Moment Of Change finished second and third respectively in the Newmarket Handicap a fortnight ago but both will be stepping up to weight-for-age racing here. Carrying an extra 6.5 kilograms here will rule Aeronautical out of replicating his gallant Newmarket effort.

    Moment Of Change gains just an additional 2.5kg and will be competitive. Runner up in the Newmarket, he was pipped on the line by a filly carrying just 50.5kg which will keep him competitive against this field.

    Sydney regular Secret Admirer commences her preparation today and has been a handy first up runner in the past. The Dubai mare rarely puts in a bad run and is a proven weight-for-age mare who has never finished outside of the placings when running first up.

    As his name suggests, Rain Affair is the horse to be on if it rains. The mudder had an extremely disappointing spring campaign and was unable to reproduce the form which saw him on an eight race winning streak. In four runs here at Rosehill, he has won four times so he’ll feel right at home on his favourite track but drawing the widest barrier has hurt his chances.

    Preview and tips by Alfred Chan

    Canterbury Stakes Tips

    1. More Joyous
    2. Secret Admirer
    3. Moment Of Change
    4. Pierro

    Justin Cinque

    1. Pierro
    2. More Joyous
    3. Moment Of Change
    4. Solzhenitsyn

    Cameron Rose
    1. Pierro
    2. Moment of Change
    3. More Joyous
    4. Happy Trails

    Andrew Hawkins

    1. Pierro
    2. More Joyous
    3. Moment Of Change
    4. Solzhenitsyn