Lady Laguna defied the odds to claim a stunning victory in the 2024 Canterbury Stakes at Royal Randwick.

Lady Laguna wins 2024 Canterbury Stakes

Lady Laguna wins the 2024 Canterbury Stakes in an impressive upset. Photo: Steve Hart.

Ridden by a strategic Tyler Schiller, the Annabel Neasham-trained mare outlasted a strong field that included the highly anticipated return of The Everest champion Think About It.

In her first win at Randwick after seven attempts, Lady Laguna capitalized on her peak fitness level.

Fresh off a string of victories, including the $1 million Magic Millions Fillies & Mares race and the Group 3 Southern Cross Stakes, she proved her class against elite competition.

“No horse deserves it more than her,” Neasham told the media after securing her ninth Group 1 success as a trainer.

“She’s an iron-woman. She’s so tough.

“We were a little bit further back than I wanted to be but it was a beautiful ride by Tyler and I’m just so over the moon that she’s a Group One winner. And to win for OTI and the team is just so special.”

Schiller expertly guided Lady Laguna throughout the race, opting to sit behind the leaders and conserve energy.

This calculated approach proved decisive as Lady Laguna unleashed a powerful finishing kick in the straight.

Taking advantage of her fitness edge, she surged past the tiring Joe Pride-trained Think About It in the final stages to secure a dominant one-length victory.

“It (winning a second Group 1) feels as good as the first time,” Schiller said.

“I actually thought she was going to get rounded up late but she just kept kicking and she was strong for the 1300 (metres).

“She’s not a renowned 1300-metre horse but she was too good for them there.

“She’s come out of some good Group Two races, not the best formlines for this but just the turn of foot she’s had in her last three starts I think held her in good stead.

“I always thought Think About It might have been a little bit touchy at the 1300, just with his prep going forward.

“He’s looking to get out in trip so I was just hoping he would be a little bit dour. When I cruised up past him at the 100 I thought it was going to be a little ding-dong battle and she put them away very well.”

This win marks a significant rise for Lady Laguna, who has now triumphed in four of her last five starts.

Chris Waller‘s smart mare Espiona finished third, rounding out the Canterbury Stakes trifecta.

2024 Canterbury Stakes Results

Finish No. Horse Trainer Jockey Margin Bar. Weight Penalty Starting Price
1 7 LADY LAGUNA Annabel Neasham Tyler Schiller 6 57kg $11
2 1 THINK ABOUT IT Joseph Pride Sam Clipperton 1.25L 7 59kg $2.35F
3 6 ESPIONA Chris Waller James McDonald 1.35L 2 57kg $2.45
4 3 COAL CRUSHER Joseph Pride Adam Hyeronimus 2.49L 5 59kg $13
5 2 PERICLES James Cummings Tom Marquand 2.94L 1 59kg $9
6 5 MALKOVICH Bjorn Baker Joshua Parr 4.87L 4 59kg $41
7 4 BANDERSNATCH Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes Jordan Childs 5.2L 3 59kg $51
8 CALL DI Joseph Pride Nash Rawiller 0

Table Credit: Racing Australia.

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About The Author

Lucy Henderson

Lucy is an experienced horse racing journalist that has been a crucial member of the team for the better part of a decade. She has taken great delight in covering champion mares Black Caviar and Winx throughout their careers and always has a soft spot for a winning filly.