The Canterbury Stakes Match Up

In the Red corner, weighing in at about 500kg we have the juvenile champion of Australia, the colt yet to taste defeat in Sydney, the winner of three Group Ones and a brilliant winner first up… Ladies and gentlemen, the super colt Pierro!

In the Blue corner, weighing in at somewhere between 400 and 500kg, we have the champion mare, the lady who has not lost in her home state since she sunk knees deep in mud in the 2011 Doncaster, a mare who is yet to taste defeat over 1300m, the best mare in Sydney… the wonderful More Joyous.

What a match up! Two of the best four horses in Australia running against each other. But wait. It does not end there…

In the wildcard corner we have Solzhenitsyn, a horse that improved last year at a rate faster than Puissance De Lune, culminating in a Group One victory with More Joyous in the field. Happy Trails, the Emirates winner and a horse with one of the most breathtaking finishing bursts in Australia. Don’t forget super sprinter Rain Affair or Epsom winner and perennial Group One placegetter Secret Admirer. We also have the two placegetters from the Newmarket Handicap in Aeronautical and Moment Of Change. Oh, and Stradbroke winner Mid Summer Music, not to mention Derby Day 2012 feature sprint winner Fontelina.

What a field! We can get odds of $31 and above about horses that all in their time have started even money or better in Group and Listed races.

But the bookies feel it is between Gai’s two best horses, Pierro and More Joyous…

Pierro beat last Saturday’s Randwick Guineas quinella very easily on an unsuitable track first up in the Hobartville. But More Joyous has won this race the last two years very easily. Still no verdict!

Pierro looks destined to eventually get over more distance and More Joyous is bomb proof between 1300m and 1600m. Maybe the 1300m is a tick in favour of More Joyous. However last year, in the Canterbury Stakes, More Joyous beat Monton and Metal Bender; Pierro would start at $1.50 against those two.

We know what we will get from More Joyous. She is trialling like a champion and first up she generally flies. Pierro might be the best male horse in Australia, but he is coming off a heavy run where he had to dig deep. But he is a champion.

Still can’t decide? Well they are both at $2.40. Why not have $10 on each. Should one win, you make $4. Not a huge profit, but the aim of punting is to finish with more money than one started with right?

Verdict: For those, like the majority, that will pick one horse, maybe More Joyous is the way to go. Pierro will end up getting backed into favouritism and we may even see $3 for More Joyous. Not bad odds considering the above stats and comments. Be aware of Solzenitsyn at $41. He is a star in the making. At Weight For Age, the other two might simply be too good for him, but look out for him under handicap conditions later in his prep.

So in conclusion, this race is a fantastic event. As is the Coolmore Classic and the Ranvet on a great days racing. But if we are listing the top 4 horses in work in Australia, would it go 4. More Joyous, 3. All Too Hard, 2. Pierro, 1. Black Caviar? Whatever the result, with these two great horses in the field, it will be a wonderful race. Go More Joyous!

By Zeb Armstrong

Share this article