2022 Canterbury Stakes Runner By Runner Preview, Odds & Tips

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Thu 3rd March 2022


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If you couldn’t tell by looking at the calendar, then surely a quick glance at Saturday’s race fields for Royal Randwick would be enough to let you know that Autumn is upon us.

The Sydney Autumn carnival goes from third to fourth gear this week with a quality card featuring two Group 1’s, the Canterbury Stakes and the Randwick Guineas, a pair of Group 2’s for the two year old Golden Slipper hopefuls plus, the Group 2 Challenge Stakes which sees some of the countries top sprinters do battle including Nature Strip and Eduardo. 

Throw in a couple of Group 3’s and a stakes race and you have the strongest program seen in Sydney so far this year, all we need now is a break in the weather!

Looking at the market for the Canterbury Stakes, Dabble has in form mare Forbidden Love as a clear cut favourite now that Zaaki has been scratched and kept safe for another day. The Melbourne visitor, Lighthouse, who is having an absolute breakout preparation is the clear second elect as she chases an elusive Group 1. Quality 4YO’s Private Eye and Law of Indices are duelling it out on the third line while it is double figures or better the rest.

However, we know with horse racing that anything can happen so we have dissected each of the horse’s chances for you! Read on below to find our runner by runner preview of the 2022 Canterbury Stakes along with The Shark’s best tips. 

1. Zaaki (1) – n/a
Jockey – James McDonald
Trainer – Annabel Neesham


2. Kolding (2) – $41
Jockey – Jason Collett
Trainer – Chris Waller

I’d love to own him but I couldn’t back him here. Tough old campaigner who’s never been a first up horse and it’s very hard to see him becoming one at this late stage of his career, He might still have a race in him, and certainly still up to earning his way, but he’s not a betting prospect.

3. Private Eye (7) – $5.50
Jockey – Regan Bayliss
Trainer – Joe Pride

He might already be a Group 1 winner but he is quite possibly still the most underrated galloper in the country. 

It’s a quantum leap from being a good handicapper to being a great weight for age horse but as a 4YO, it is the right time to make that jump, and I doubt there is any better in the star making business than Joe Pride. 

One’s only got to look at what he’s been able to do with Eduardo in a two year period to know he is the right man for the job. And whilst most didn’t give it much merit at the time, his win over Apache Chase in the QLD Guineas now reads pretty well. He was a horse on the way up in the Epsom where he was thrown in at the weights, but he did carry above his allotted weight there and that was a pretty handy field with the likes of Mo’unga, Icebath, Cascadian and Hungry Heart in the field.

He’s certainly got the quality to step up to the mark here, he’s had three trials to get him ready for this, and he’s an Al Maher who just revels in these conditions as do runners conditioned by Joe Pride whose record on days like these is exemplary. 

Expect a bold showing.

4. Dalasan (6) – $21
Jockey – Chad Schofield
Trainer – L Macdonald & A Gluyas

Hard to believe this bloke is only a 5YO. It seems like he’s been around in just about everything which is not far from the truth.

He was a good 3rd in the Epsom and although he gave weight to Private Eye there, it is hard to see him turning the tables here going into this with no trials.

Prefer to see at this stage.

5. Special Reward (4) – $13
Jockey – Glynn Schofield
Trainer – Kris Lees

He’s basically been in work since August last year so if there is anything to be said for horses with residual fitness in these types of races, particularly on trying ground, then he’s your horse. 

He was a good third in the Apollo but he was a well beaten third, and that is probably a fair indication of where he’s at around genuine Group 1 weight for age horses. This isn’t exactly a shining example of our prime cattle, but I still think there’s a couple that go better than him here. 

One for the wider exotics.

6. Wild Planet (10) – $20
Jockey – William Pike
Trainer – M, W, & J Hawkes

He falls into that bracket of being a bit too good for handicap races but not being quite there for weight for age company. Under normal circumstances, this being a weaker weight for age event is probably the right mark for him but it is very hard to be buoyed by his two Melbourne runs this time in.

Those were both on heavily biassed tracks so there is a query there, but you are taking on trust. Don’t dismiss him completely.

7. Dice Roll (9) – $21
Jockey – Rhys Mcleod
Trainer – Nick Ryan

Pretty overrated galloper in my opinion. Caught them with their pants down in the Rupert Clarke there in the Spring but has not got within cooee of them since.

Prefer others.

8. Law of Indices (5) – $5.50
Jockey – Tommy Berry
Trainer – Annabel Neesham

He was one of those peculiar bunch of horses that somebody back in the U.K. thought it would be a good idea to send over here and have a crack at a $7.5 million dollar race first up even though they are in all practicality at a six month disadvantage to their rivals, which you’ve only got to take one look at the stakes money on offer in the Golden Eagle to know they are going to be a pretty handy bunch.

That said, you always got the impression there would be something come of at least one or two of them going forward and he is certainly one who went better than expected in the Eagle, and appears to have come up this time in.

Group 1 winner at 1400m on the soft back home which won’t be all that different to what he lands on when the gates open Saturday, and if they were any deader on him first up they may as well doused him in embalming fluid and wrapped him in crepe bandages.

Found the line very strongly there after very negative tactics early and the way he finished off that fitness run tells you he is absolutely primed for this.

The scratching of the heavily fancied stablemate might be a fair guide also… goes on top for mine.

9. Forbidden Love (8) – $2.90F
Jockey – Hugh Bowman
Trainer – R & M Freedman

She’s a Group 1 winning mare who never had any issues with having enough air pumped into her tyres, but she has been given a few goes now to breakthrough at open company G1 WFA and she’s just not quite there.

The fact the stable have lunged at the chance for some black type here by backing her up week to week tells you they also know that and I’d be pretty disappointed if there wasn’t at least one of the boys that had her covered here on their way up through the grades.

She’s currently a pre-post favourite, but I’d be very surprised if she jumps that, and I don’t have her in my top 3.

10. Lighthouse (3) – $4.20
Jockey – James McDonald
Trainer – C Maher & D Eustace

Having a break out campaign but she’s just missed her past couple when the real quality has started to re-appear. There’s no Tofane in this but she’s got to have travelled, and has to get around on the Sydney leg which is enough to say she’s a little skinny on the second line of betting.

She’s probably going to look the winner at some point and she’s hard fit so the 1400m at Randwick no issue.

Expect she runs top 3, just think there might be one or two better in this.

Final Word

Struggling to split Law of Indices and Private Eye but we’ll go for the European bred colt based solely on the fact that he’s had the one run, which was a very good one, and this track is going to be trying to say the least.

I think they’ll both handle it, and Joe Pride is an absolute master of having his horses fitter than his rival trainers even if they are a little short on ability.

Not sure that is quite the case here with Private Eye being plenty talented but you would have to think the benefit of the first up run, the fact he’s raced on this type of ground back home, and given he clearly has considerable quality about him being a G1 winner back home plus running a good 5th in the Golden Eagle, is enough to say it is right to lean to Law of indices.

Best Canterbury Stakes Tip: 8. Law of Indices – Win ($5.50)
Next Best Canterbury Stakes Tip: 8. Law of Indices & 3. Private Eye – Boxed Exacta
Other Canterbury Stakes Tip: Trifecta – 3, 8/3, 8, 10/3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10 | Total – 20 units

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

*Odds correct at time of writing, courtesy of Dabble.

Rob Davis has spent, or some might say misspent, a lifetime in the racing industry working everywhere from the stables of hall of fame trainers, to a form analyst for some of the countries leading online racing sites and bookmakers through to curating tracks at some of Australia’s most far flung racing outposts.These days he spends his time creating online content, providing tipping services and making a living off the punt whilst putting the finishing touches to his ‘Great Australian Racing Novel’. It’s fair to say that what Rob Davis doesn’t know about the racing game isn’t worth knowing and he now provides you with his five best bets, twice a week, Wednesday and Saturday, for you here at the Racing Sharks.