Canterbury Stakes a cuddle for More Joyous

More Joyous tuned up for another Group 1 campaign at the Sydney autumn carnival with a typical first-up win at Rosehill on Saturday.

The Gai Waterhouse trained mare has won 5 times in 7 starts when resuming and she was nothing if not brave in the G2 Canterbury Stakes over 1300m.  “Gai told me she wasn’t 100% fit,” winning jockey Nash Rawiller revealed.  “I cuddled her for as long as I could and she just kept giving.”

More Joyous (5m More Than Ready – Sunday Joy by Sunday Silence) is bred in the silk department.  She is by Vinery’s champion sire More Than Ready from G1 Australian Oaks winner Sunday Joy.  Her dam is a half-sister to G1 winner Tuesday Joy.  Second dam Joie Denise won the G1 Queensland Oaks.

Racing for owner-breeder John Singleton, she has starred on the first day of the Golden Slipper carnival winning the G2 Reisling Stakes in 2010 and the G2 Canterbury Stakes in 2011.

Her first Canterbury Stakes was part of a marvelous season for More Joyous in 2010-11.  She was named NSW Horse of the Year after G1 victories in the Toorak Hcp & Futurity Stakes at Caulfield, George Main Stakes at Randwick and Queen of the Turf Stakes at Rosehill.

More Joyous returned for the spring carnival last year and was placed behind Sepoy first-up in the G1 Manikato Stakes at Moonee Valley.  She followed up with a G2 victory in the Tristarc Stakes at Caulfield before an uncharacteristic failure in the G1 Myer Classic at Flemington.

By her own standards, it was a quiet campaign in Melbourne but that was a mere memory when she saluted in front of her home-town fans on Saturday.  “I didn’t think she was going to win at the top of the straight,” Waterhouse said.  “You can’t buy that heart.  She made it look easy in the end.”

More Joyous has a G1 preparation ahead beginning with the Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1500m) prior to the Doncaster Mile (1600m) and Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m).

More Than Ready is currently running sixth on the Australian sires’ premiership behind Fastnet Rock, Redoute’s Choice, Commands, Bel Esprit and Lonhro with earnings of $4.19 million.

Fastnet Rock ($8.81 million) is off and gone at the top of the table, however, More Than Ready will climb into second place if his latest star Samaready wins the Golden Slipper and More Joyous makes amends for her loss in last year’s Doncaster.