2021 Cantala Stakes Runner By Runner Preview, Odds & Tips

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Thu 28th October 2021


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The Kennedy Cantala Stakes is here and we have done the form, analysed every runner and come up with our best tip for you! The 16-horse field is full of talent, with four mares choosing to race here rather than the Empire Rose, which is three races earlier on the card. The track is currently a Good(4) and we know how good Flemington’s drainage is, but there is rain pouring at the time of writing, so be sure to check the track report on Saturday morning.

Sportsbet currently, as of Thursday afternoon, has the four-year-old up-and-comer, Mr Brightside, as the $4.20 favourite. He comes into this race on the back of six straight wins, with Craig Williams staying on board at the minimum weight. Both Aramayo, who has good Sydney and International form, and Chaillot, who was last seen flashing home to win at Sandown five weeks ago, are on the next line of betting at $8.50

While there is a clear favourite and two others at single-figure odds, there are plenty of chances and we have analysed each and every runner for you! Read on below to find out runner by runner preview of the 2021 Cantala Stakes along with The Shark’s Cantala Stakes best tips. 

1. Zoutori (13) – $34
Jockey – Luke Currie
Trainer – Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra

Well, Zoutori certainly likes running at Flemington, considering he has finished in the top three in eight of his 14 runs at the track, but most of those are down the straight over 1200m. He is the top weight and up at a distance that doesn’t suit, compared to most others. 

2. Cascadian (15) – $12
Jockey – James McDonald
Trainer – James Cummings

How many runs can he have before he is in the never again basket. Cascadian is an absolute cat – fast and flashy finishes but leaving himself too much work to do. 1600m is certainly his go, but given he is carrying a lot more weight than some of the other chances, it is hard to be with him in the Cantala.. unless…

3. Superstorm (14) – $10
Jockey – Damien Oliver
Trainer – Danny O’Brien

What a prep Superstorm is having! From four runs he has finished no worse than 4th, including a win in the G2 Feehan Stakes and an eye-catching 3rd in the Toorak Handicap. He drops half a kilo from that run and doesn’t have I’m Thunderstruck or Tofane to worry about, meaning he should be one of the main chances. 

4. Riodini (10) – $10
Jockey – Rachel King
Trainer – Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott

Riodini is a fast horse and will ensure there is a solid tempo to chase in this race, along with Buffalo River. While he didn’t quite run to expectations in the Epsom, he did finish less than a length off Verry Elleegant two back in the George Main, and she has come out and run 3rd in a Cox Plate. He would prefer a bit of give in the track but if they are winning from the front, he is one of the main chances. 

5. Buffalo River (4) – $13
Jockey – Linda Meech
Trainer – Michael Moroney

After just getting run down on a good track two runs ago, Buffalo River showed that he is an absolute beast on rain affected ground, backing up a week later to win the Moonga Stakes. The issue is, despite some rain forecast, Flemington has the best drainage in the world and the track is extremely unlikely to be in the soft range, meaning his chances plumett. 

6. Aramayo (3) – $8.50
Jockey – Glen Boss
Trainer – Chris Waller

This Waller-trained six-year-old gelding is very interesting. Aramayo has returned to his best this prep, finishing 2nd to Zaaki first up, 3rd in the Bill Ritchie and then an unlucky 2nd in the Epsom, just being pipped by Private Eye. All of his best form is over 1600m, including Group One wins in Singapore, and Waller looks to have him primed for this fourth up, where he is 5:2-1-0. 

7. Icebath (16) – $11
Jockey – Jye McNeil
Trainer – Brad Widdup

After an incredible 1.4L win in The Invitation last week, Icebath is on the quick backup with just 53.5kg on her back. It isn’t the minimum in the race, but it is 3.5kg lighter than she had to carry last week. She did finish 9th in the Epsom two weeks prior to that, crossing the line almost 3L off Aramayo, but has to be respected. 

8. Lunar Fox (7) – $31
Jockey – Brett Prebble
Trainer – Paul Preusker

Will he continue to be respected in the market for his Australian Guineas win at 301/1. He has finished 9th, 5th and 6th this time around and that win isn’t just his only win from 11 tries under Paul Preusker, it is the only time he has placed as well. 

9. Kahma Lass (1) – $27
Jockey – Michael Dee
Trainer – Jamie Richards

A very interesting Kiwi runner, and she is definitely over the odds at $27. She is a last-start winner, beating Buffalo River, who is $13 for this race. That win was over seven furlongs and she will be better over eight, which she has here today. She is top two in both of her third up runs, including a win, drops down to the minimum weight and the camp can’t speak highly enough of her heading into this run. 

10. Quantum Mechanic (9) – $18
Jockey – Craig Newitt
Trainer – Mick Price & Michael Kent (Jnr)

Chose this race over the Empire Rose due to getting in on the minimum and if her run in the Toorak is anything to go off, Quantum Mechanic is definitely a chance here. She is 3:2-0-1 fourth up, 1600m is her pet distance and she drops half a kilo from that Toorak run. Superstorm did beat her home on that day, but she was held up behind a slowing Second Slip and had to change lines and lost her momentum, indicating that she would have beat the $10 chance for this race to the line. 

11. Chaillot (12) – $8.50
Jockey – Declan Bates
Trainer – Archie Alexander

Another mare to come here instead of the Empire Rose, Chaillot hasn’t been seen since an impressive (it was more than impressive, as you can see below) win against the bias at Sandown in the Testa Rossa, on Underwood Stakes day. She is your typical get-back horse that has been kept fresh for a reason, she is 4/4 when first up. The big track will help but how quick will they be going up front and how far back will she be?

12. Just Folk (2) – $27
Jockey – Dean Holland
Trainer – Joshua Julius

Just Folk is on the quick back-up after a shock win in the Crystal Mile last week, but was that race actually any good? Begood Toya Mother hasn’t won in two years while Elephant was well and truly overdue for a spell, and she only just beat them. She has to be respected, dropping from 59kg to 52kg here, but was 4.2L off Mr Brightside just two runs ago, which won’t be good enough here. 

13. Romancer (8) – $51
Jockey – Will Price
Trainer – Grahame Begg

Romancer finished 5L off Just Folk last Saturday and we just said that mare has no chance. He will run much better at Flemington, but we’ve given a pretty clear indication for what we think of this eight-year-old gelding based on the formlines. 

14. Mr Brightside (6) – $4.20
Jockey – Craig Williams
Trainer – Ben & JD Hayes

Mr Brightside comes into this race as the favourite, on the back of six straight wins. However, he has never run at group level before, and this will be the eighth run of his preparation. It screams a bit of Lombardo in the Manikato Stakes, a horse that has been winning comfortably against weak opposition and then may get found out with the spotlights shining bright. You obviously can’t beat winning form, but who has he beat over his winning streak? The minimum weight helps him here and he will get a cushy run just off the speed, but we are happy to bet around as he may not actually be that good. 

15. King Magnus (11) – $27
Jockey – Dean Yendall
Trainer – Robbie Griffiths & Mathew de Kock

Another interesting price differential with King Magnus finishing less than a length of Buffalo River last start but is now double his price, and King Magnus can actually run on dry tracks. He has been very consistent this prep and is always there abouts, but don’t know if his form stacks up to this. 

16. Flash Aah (5) – $151
Jockey – Madeleine Wishart
Trainer – Matt Kropp

Madeleine Wishart has come down from Queensland to continue riding Flash Aah in this race, but it is hard to see him competing. He does have form around Apache Chase, who is a red hot chance in the Golden Eagle today, so maybe if he wins then you could have a speck here at odds, but realistically was 2.1L and 5.5L off that horse in his last two attempts. 

Final Word

The Cantala Stakes sets up to be an absolute belter of the race and one that could either make your quaddie turn into a big pay-day or see you rubbed out with a rank outsider. We have already indicated that we are happy to go against Mr Brightside in this one, not thinking that he will be up to a tough Group One in his eighth run this prep plus the favourite hasn’t won since 2013. It is also interesting to see some mares choose to run with the minimum in this race rather than go against their own gender in the Empire Rose. However, only three mares have won the race since 2000, indicating that the minimum weight may not be enough to swing the odds in their favour. 

If we are happy to leave out the mares when looking for a winner, we turn our attention to finding a fit horse that we know will compete at the level, will be able to run on any surface (in case the rain actually comes) and will relish the Flemington conditions. Riodini and Buffalo River look to insert some pace into the race, meaning we can see some swoopers come into action. Another key indicator is the weight, given this is a handicap race. Over the last nine years, only two horses have been able to win carrying less than 55kg. That only leaves the top four horses in the market.

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That leaves us with two – that aren’t mares, won’t be up on the pace, have a good finish, carrying 55kg or heavier and have a wide draw – Cascadian and Superstorm. We have mentioned how much of a cat Cascadian is, but the JMac/Godolphin combo is hard to ignore. However, we are going with Superstorm. He has won at 1600m already this prep, came third in the Toorak Handicap, where the first two from that are favourites in their respective races today, and he will relish the conditions at Flemington with a wide open track and long straight to burst home down. 

Given Sportsbet will be offering a bonus back to fifth, we will definitely take the extra security since it is a 16-horse field and it is a very even race! However, given how much we rate this WA-raider, we like our chances that we will come out with a big-odds winner, or a bonus bet as a worst case scenario. 

Best Cantala Stakes Tip: Superstorm – Win ($10)

Don’t stop there, the Cantala Stakes is one of just seven feature races across both Flemington and Rosehill this Saturday! We have done a runner-by-runner preview on all seven, so you just need to read, agree, place your bets and watch the winnings come in:

  • Empire Rose Stakes – Analysis Here!
  • Classique Legend (Winner) Stakes – Analysis Here!
  • Rosehill Gold Cup – Analysis Here!

If you need more news, information and predictions, head over to our Cantala Stakes page for all your punting needs!

*Odds correct at time of publication, courtesy of Sportsbet.

Tim is a massive follower of Horse Racing, not only in Australia but around the world. Whether it be the champions of the Spring and Autumn Carnivals or following the form lines throughout winter, Tim always has an eye on everything racing. He attempts to get to every Saturday meet he can, with Turnbull Stakes Day at the home of racing, Flemington, being a stand-out! If you want a tipster that follows all form lines, ratings, conditions and weights, not just favourites, Tim is your guy.