Canterbury Stakes Tips & Preview 2024

Image from Chris Waller racing, Facebook

Looking for Canterbury Stakes tips and best bets? We dissect times and form to find the winner of the 2024 Canterbury Stakes at Randwick.


A field of eight have accepted for the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) and the Everest (1200m) winner, Think About It, is the $1.80 favourite with PlayUp after the barrier draw, while the dual acceptor, Espiona, is at $4. 

The Waller mare is also entered into the Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on the same day but is set to take part in the Canterbury Stakes. The last start Futurity Stakes (1400m) runner-up, Pericles, is at $6.50, while Lady Laguna, is a $9.50 shot. Coal Crusher, ($11), Malkovich ($34), Bandersnatch ($51) and Call Di ($51) round out the field. 


Think About It has won 11 of his 13 career starts and has never lost when first up. The Jo Pride-trained galloper claimed the Group 2 Premiere Stakes (1200m) when fresh in the spring, going 6.8 lengths faster than standard off what was a slow early tempo. He then went 11 lengths faster than standard when taking out the Everest. He missed out over the 1300m at his most recent run but is two from two at the track and trip. 

Espiona steps up from the 1000m after placing 3rd behind the star Kiwi mare, Imperatriz, in the Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington. I was keen on her in that race but the stable have gone for the softer option of the small field. Pace should suit her with the likes of Malkovich going forward and she produced the fastest last 200m in the Lightning to go 10.4 lengths faster than standard benchmark. 

Pericles also had his most recent start in Melbourne, going 11.4 lengths faster than standard benchmark when runner-up behind Mr Brightside in the Futurity Stakes (1400m). The Golden Eagle (1500m) runner-up from the spring comes into this third up and went 8.1 lengths faster than standard at this stage of his last preparation when 3rd at the track and trip in the Silver Eagle (1300m). 

Lady Laguna faces her toughest assignment but has finished top two at her past five starts and went down behind Zougotcha over the 1300m at Rosehill at Group 2 level last time. Those two had a bit on the rest. Not quite convinced she is up to this level. 

Best last start benchmark figures belong to the stablemate of Think About It, Coal Crusher. The six-year-old went 11.7 lengths faster than standard when 5th in the recent Liverpool City Stakes (1300m) at Randwick. They went hard early in that race and he just peaked late. 

Malkovich is the likely leader in the race and I just can’t see him sticking on to trouble any of the favoured runners, while Bandersnatch is likely to need the run. 


This is a bit of a tricky race to predict and a lot will depend on how hard they go up in front. If the pace is muddling, Think About It can take advantage. However, I am rolling the dice on Espiona and suspect that there should be enough tempo with Malkovich and Coal Crusher in action. Espiona was impressive at Flemington when reeling off the fastest last 200m and she has always performed well over the 1200m-1400m distance range. Look for her to pick off her rivals late in the piece.