Sydney Preview: Taking on favorites in Canterbury Stakes, Randwick Guineas

March 3rd, 2023

It’s a massive day of racing in Sydney as the autumn carnival moves into full swing.

The day is highlighted by two Group 1 races, one for 6 1/2-furlong sprinters and one for three-year-old milers – along with three Group 2 events, two Group 3s, and two ungraded stakes.

We don’t have space to look at them all, so we’ll concentrate on the Group 1 events.

Race 7, 12:00 a.m. ET Saturday: Canterbury S. (G1), 1,300 meters (about 6 1/2 furlongs), 3yos and up

Canterbury S. Selections

  • #8 Imperatriz
  • #1 Cascadian
  • #11 Golden Mile
  • #2 Artorius

Canterbury S. Wagers

  • $10 win/$30 show: #1 Cascadian
  • $1 trifecta: 1, 8 with 1, 2, 8, 11 with 1, 2, 8, 11

Strangely, this isn’t the strongest field for a Group 1 sprint – there’s probably more class overall in the five-furlong Challenge S. (G2) one race earlier, featuring Eduardo, Giga Kick, and Paulele. The big question is: how good is the visiting New Zealand-trained mare #8 Imperatriz?

She arrives back in the land of her birth having won the seven-furlong Waikato Sprint (G1) by 4 1/2 lengths. However, that was at Te Rapa, probably her favorite track, and she can throw in some clunkers every now and then, as she did in spring. In addition, it’s usually much tougher going for sprinter-milers from New Zealand when they get to Australia.

This makes the probably short odds about Imperatriz unappealing. However, most of her best opponents aren’t really sprinters; the likes of #1 Cascadian, #3 Kirwan’s Lane, and #11 Golden Mile. The best sprinter opposing Imperatriz is probably #2 Artorius, but he usually gets too far back and doesn’t win many.

Given he has a decent first-up record, I’m going to play Cascadian and concentrate on trifectas with the favorite.

Race 8, 12:40 a.m. ET Saturday: Randwick Guineas (G1), 1,600 meters (about one mile), 3yos

Randwick Guineas Selections

  • #2 Osipenko
  • #3 Aft Cabin
  • #4 Zou Tiger
  • #6 Williamsburg

Randwick Guineas Wagers

  • $10 win/$30 show: #2 Osipenko
  • $2 trifecta: 3 with 2, 4, 5, 6 with 2, 4, 5, 6
  • $1 trifecta: 2 with 3, 4, 5, 6 with 3, 4, 5, 6

Was #3 Aft Cabin just unlucky last start, or is he overrated? He was a short-priced favorite when he faced most of this field in the Hobartville (G2), but had to work hard from a wide draw to get to the lead and had little left at the finish.

Australian markets suggest he’ll bounce back, especially with James McDonald back to ride. But he once again faces a wide draw and with an extra furlong to gallop, I’m looking to the Hobartville winner #2 Osipenko. He’s drawn toward the inside again and should get a nice run. #4 Zou Tiger, #5 Matcha Latte, and #6 Williamsburg should be in the running for exotics.