Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
Fresh off her incredible seventh Group 1 title with a mighty win in the Doncaster Mile over the weekend, Gai Waterhouse’s pin-up mare More Joyous will back up just seven days later and take on a star studded field of imports in the 2012 Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Royal Randwick.
One of four elite level features highlighting the Sydney Cup Day action on Saturday, the $500,000 Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) is set host The BMW rematch between Peter Moody’s rejuvenated European Manighar and 2010 Melbourne Cup winner Americain.
Manighar, to be ridden by Damien Oliver with regular rider Luke Nolen in Adelaide for the Robert Sangster Stakes ride on Black Caviar next race, shoots for their fourth Group 1 win on the trot adding to their Australian Cup – Ranvet Stakes – The BMW triple.
More Joyous meanwhile will add even more intrigue to the Queen Elizabeth Stakes field, official nominations to be released shortly.
Last Saturday the brilliant More Than Ready five-year-old boosted her earnings to $3,954,650 and silenced any critics that dared to suggest she was not a true turf champion when carrying 57.5kg to win the Doncaster Mile over multiple Group 1 winning gelding Shoot Out.
She will now shoot for her eighth Group 1 title and look to push that prize money to over $4 million when she takes on the boys again this time over 2000-metres in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
It will be the dedicated middle distance genius’ first look at the distance since her fifth in the 2010 Cox Plate over 2040-metres, and also the first time Waterhouse backs her stable ace up on consecutive Saturdays.
Waterhouse has enjoyed a stranglehold over the autumn winning five Group 1’s in the past four weeks, and she is confident another will be in the trophy cabinet after Saturday.
“It’s mouth-watering, isn’t it,” Waterhouse said of the likely Queen Elizabeth Stakes line-up that will also include Cox Plate runner-up Jimmy Choux.
“I think she (More Joyous) will turn back the international hordes.
“She has been wonderful this autumn and I can say that I get more out of her wins than most other horses.
“I think it is because she has been around for so long and people really love her.”
Sure to start second favourite behind More Joyous in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes odds, Manighar is the horse Waterhouse is most aware of on Saturday.
“The ex-English stayer (Manighar) has come out here and been very good this autumn and you can’t knock his form,” she said.
“He has been winning all the Group 1’s.
“But I have always said that a mile and 2000 metres is when More Joyous is at her best and as you saw (in the Doncaster) she is in sensational form.”
Also among More Joyous possible Queen Elizabeth rivals are brave Doncaster second placegetter Shoot Out, the fellow Chris Waller-trained Ranigrangdoo and Cox Plate third placed Rekindled Interest.
Following the autumn More Joyous will stay in Australia, owner John Singleton turning down an invite to Royal Ascot, in preparation for another Cox Plate assault in the spring.
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