A capacity field of sixteen Milers are set to line up in Saturday’s $2m Cantala Stakes (1600m), one of four Group 1 races on Victoria Derby Day.
Cantala winner Best Of Days will lead the field out but the James Cummings
trained galloper will be facing a different scenario this year after drawing a double
digit barrier with 57kg after jumping from the inside gate last year with only
52kg on his back.
will also saddle up Cascadian who will jump from the outside gate after drawing
barrier twenty when the final field of sixteen plus four emergencies was
released on Wednesday.
Chris Waller has three runners in the top sixteen, Life Less Ordinary, Night’s Watch and Star Of The Seas plus first emergency Noire.
Park Team will also saddle up three
runners in the Cantala, Fifty Stars (barrier 3), So Si Bon (barrier 15) and
Sikandarabad (barrier 11).
analysed every single horse in the field and our complete Cantala Stakes thoughts
are set out below.
Days was the winner of the 2018 Cantala after jumping from the inside gate with
only 52kg on his back, but will be facing a tough task on Saturday. The James
Cummings trained six year old drew barrier fourteen in the original draw of
sixteen plus four emergencies with three of them drawing inside of him. Best Of
Days is coming off a last start third in the Group 2 Crystal Mile (1600m) at
The Valley last Saturday but is facing a tough task here.
Plenty is going into the Cantala Stakes with one run under his belt when fifth
in the Group 3 Moonga Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Caulfield Cup day but has
a good second up record. Ben Allen will be able to save every bit of ground on
the Peter and Paul Snowden trained six year old from the inside gate and has
each way claims.
of the three Lindsay Park trained runners Fifty Stars is struggling to find his
best form and has been unplaced at all four starts this preparation, his latest
an eighth in the Group 1 Epsom (1600m) at Randwick on October 5. No easier
Ordinary is the first of the Chris Waller Cantala runners. The eight year old
has been placed at Group 3 level over 2000m at his last two starts at Randwick
and looks tested after drawing barrier nineteen in the original draw, but will
move into fifteen if all four emergencies fail to gain a start.
lightly raced Northern Hemisphere three year old Royal Meeting was a Group 1
winner at his second race start at Chantilly in France in October 2018. The
Saeed Bin Suroor trained Royal Meeting was having his first run for twelve
months when third to Streets Of Avalon in the Group 3 Moonga Stakes (1400m) at
Caulfield on Caulfield Cup Day. Has drawn barrier sixteen in the original draw
and will need plenty of luck.
Japanese bred English import Fierce Impact broke through for his maiden Group 1 win last start in the Toorak Handicap over 1600m at Caulfield from a wide barrier and has been set a tough task again after drawing gate seventeen in the original draw. Craig Williams will have to be at his best again for Fierce Impact to score back to back Group 1 wins.
Ciaron Maher and David Eustace trained Cliff’s Edge produce his best run this
time in when runner up last start in the Group 2 Crystal Mile (1600m) at The
Valley on Ladbrokes Cox Plate Day last Saturday. John Allen will be to give Cliff’s
Edge a cushy run from barrier two.
The Chris Waller trained Night’s Watch was sent out as the $7 equal favourite in a wide betting race when second to Fierce Impact in the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield on October 12. Damien Oliver finds himself back on Night’s Watch who is likely to settle in the second half of the field again from barrier nine before trying to chase the leaders down in the straight.
So Si Bon
So Si Bon was runner up in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 31 but was never in the hunt last start when fourteenth in the Group 1 Toorak Handicap over 1600m at Caulfield on October 12. The Lindsay Park trained So Si Bon would have to produce a huge form reversal to figure in the finish.
Of Avalon broke through for an overdue win in the Group 3 Moonga Stakes (1400m)
at Caulfield on Caulfield Cup Day but is facing much stiffer opposition in the
hasn’t been far off the pace at his last two runs but will need to lift to be a
threat here following a fourth in the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) at
Caulfield and a sixth in the Group 2 Crystal Mile (1600m) at The Valley last
Cascadian made up some ground from the back when seventh to Kolding in the Group 1 Epsom (1600m) at Randwick two starts back then appreciated the drop in class to win The Star Mile (1600m) at Randwick on Everest Day. Facing another tough task stepping back up to Group 1 company in the Cantala Stakes.
completed a hat trick of wins before a solid fifth in the Group 1 Epsom at
Randwick on October 5 but won’t find this any easier. Will jump from a midfield
gate and will be running on again from back in the field.
The Seas is another with the Chris Waller polish and produced his best run this
preparation with a last start third in the Group 1 Epsom (1600m) at Randwick
and will get his chance to run into a placing again.
raider Chief Ironside was another international claims winning prizemoney with
a win in the Group 2 Crystal Mile (1600m) at The Valley on Ladbrokes Cox Plate
Day last Saturday and a repeat could see the David Menuisier trained five year
old figure as one of the main players again.
Mahamedeis looks tested here on his last start tenth in the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caufield on October 12.
emergency Noire is facing a huge step up class and has been installed as one of
the outsiders of the field following her latest fifth in the Group 3 Angst
Stakes at Randwick on October 2.
Joker has worked his way up through the grades with four wins from his last
four starts, his latest a win in the Listed Seymour Cup (1600m) on October 20.
Facing a huge rise in class here.
Third emergency Variation would be better suited in something easier after a last start second in the Group 3 Moonga Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield.
Fourth emergency Iconoclasm is very unlikely to gain a start in the Cantala Stakes. Iconoclasm was tested in Group 1 company two starts back in the Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield and after setting the pace, faded to finish at the tail of the field. The five year old then bounced back for a win in the VOBIS Gold Star (1500m) at The Valley on Manikato Stakes night.