Canterbury preview: Construct and Almighty Rising to press their spring claims

Construct and Almighty Rising will be trying to muscle their way into owner Henry Field’s all-star team of spring carnival contenders when they clash in the Admire Mars at Arrowfield Handicap (1250m) at Canterbury on Wednesday.

Field’s Newgate Farm Stud has interests in some exciting young sprinter-milers, including this season’s outstanding two-year-olds Stay Inside, Artorius, Captivant, Profiteer and Tiger Of Malay, and talented duo In The Congo and King Of Sparta.

Although Construct and Almighty Rising don’t have the track record to match that elite group, both are rising three-year-olds.

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In latest TAB Fixed Odds betting for the Canterbury opener, Construct and Almighty Rising are equal second favourites at $4 behind Godolphin filly Larkspur Run.

Construct, trainer by Peter and Paul Snowden, resumed with a fast-finishing third to Huesca at Kensington a month ago.

Earlier this season, the I Am Invincible colt was runner-up to Shaquero in the Breeders Plate.

“We thought Construct ran a good race first-up and Peter and Paul are confident he will be better over 1250m,’’ Field said.

“He went back from a wide barrier and closed the race off well.

“Construct has always shown ability and his Blue Diamond run (seventh to Artorius) was very good as he wasn’t beaten far by Anamoe (third). He could take that next step as a three-year-old.’’

Tiger Of Malay is one of the many talented two-year-olds Henry Field has an interest in. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

The Team Hawkes-trained Almighty Rising was an all-the-way Canterbury winner when resuming last month. The son of Newgate stallion Flying Artie was unwanted as a yearling, according to Field.

“As a yearling, he was very immature and lanky. He was the only yearling we couldn’t sell out of 100 (yearlings) last year,’’ Field said,

“He was passed in for $40,000 so we kept him and gave him to the Hawkes stable and he’s developing into a nice horse now.’’

Field concedes both Construct and Almighty Rising need to make a statement at Canterbury for either to be considered a genuine spring carnival contender.

But Field’s Newgate Farm seems to have most bases covered with their deep pool of three-year-old talent, including Golden Slipper winner Stay Inside and Champagne Stakes victor Captivant.

“I’ve been speaking with Michael (Freedman, trainer) and he is very happy with Stay Inside,’’ Field said.

“Our main goal with Stay Inside is The Everest and he will probably be ready for a race like the San Domenico Stakes first-up. Captivant is going to be set for the Golden Rose, as will Tiger Of Malay.’’

Field said Blue Diamond winner Artorius and the brilliant Profiteer were likely to stay in Melbourne for early spring.

“Artorius is back in work and is on the Caulfield Guineas path and Profiteer is about to finish his last week of pre-training,” he said.

“I think Profiteer is a bit of a forgotten horse. All he has to do is harness his energy because from a talent perspective, he is the fastest horse in the crop.’’

Field also has ambitious plans for the Snowden-trained King Of Sparta, who resumed with a strong win at Kensington last week.

High hopes of a winning smile

Trainer Kris Lees is optimistic No Laughing Matter and Controlthewitness are poised to maintain their winning momentum and Matterhorn can bounce back to top form at Canterbury today.

The likelihood of a heavy track certainly won’t bother No Laughing Matter who lines up in the Sky Racing Handicap (1250m).

Controlthewitness is also effective on rain-affected tracks and should be hard to beat in the TAB Handicap (1900m).

Canterbury was rated a heavy 9 late Tuesday afternoon but ATC officials are hopeful the track will improve and could even get back to the soft range.

No Laughing Matter enjoyed the very heavy track conditions at Warwick Farm last start when she led throughout to beat subsequent city winner Rosa Moyessi, with another Lees-trained filly Yesmeena running on for third.

The Lees stablemates clash again at Canterbury with No Laughing Matter rated $4.40 TAB Fixed Odds favourite and ­Yesmeena at $10.

“I can’t fault No Laughing Matter, her racing pattern is suited around Canterbury and she is going to be hard to beat again,’’ Lees said.

“Yesmeena has drawn awkwardly and will have to go back again but she was closing strongly last start and is a filly with a bit of upside.’’

Trainer Kris Lees and jockey Kerrin McEvoy. Picture: Aaron FrancisSource:News Corp Australia

Controlthewitness also handled the heavy track conditions well when scoring at Gosford last start and is at $12 behind the Kim Waugh-trained Bethencourt ($4.60 favourite) for Canterbury.

“It was a good, tough win at Gosford,’’ Lees said of Controlthewitness.

“He should be suited at Canterbury although this is a stronger race.’’

Lees will also be represented by the lightly-raced Matterhorn ($2.70) in the China Horse Club Handicap (1250m).

Matterhorn won two of his first three starts but failed as an odds-on favourite at Newcastle last start.

“The weight (61kg) might have anchored him second-up but he has trained on well,’’ Lees said.

Originally published asCanterbury preview: Field pair on trial for spring

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