A who’s-who of high-class horses are set to line up in this Saturday’s $500,000 Group 1 2012 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Sydney’s Royal Randwick Racecourse.
The 12-horse nominations list was reduced to eight horses when final acceptances were made today but all the stars remain in what is set to be a bumper race.
Glamour mare More Joyous has drawn barrier seven as she looks to extend her unbeaten autumn to four straight victories.
The Gai Waterhouse-trained five-year-old proved plenty of doubters wrong when winning last weekend’s Doncaster Mile in less than favourable conditions but she faces another challenge this weekend when stepping up to 2000 metres.
A daughter of More Than Ready, More Joyous has only run the distance once before when running fifth in the 2012 Cox Plate (2040m) and comes up against a group of experienced and successful stayers including Americain and Manighar.
Manighar has already won twice at Group 1 level at the distance this year and will be looking to score a fourth straight elite level win after producing a remarkable Australian Cup, Ranvet Stakes and BMW treble.
Former Melbourne Cup winner Americain finished runner-up in the BMW after a much-publicised horror ride by French jockey Gerald Mosse and will be ridden by Craig Williams for the first time when running from the outside (8) on Saturday.
Joining More Joyous in backing up from the Doncaster are New Zealand gelding Rangirangdoo and Grahame Begg-trained mare Secret Admirer.
Seven-year-old Rangirangdoo showed promise when finishing a head behind Manighar in the Ranvet Stakes but has been unable to record any other results of note this autumn.
The short turnaround is not expected to worry Secret Admirer, with the four-year-old’s two Group 1 wins coming with the same short preparation.
Last year’s Rosehill Guineas winner Jimmy Choux will return to Sydney for his first run on Australian soil this autumn and will start from barrier four.
Queen Elizabeth Stakes betting will open shortly and the place to find the best odds is bookmaker.com.au.
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Queen Elizabeth Stakes 2012 – Final Field and Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||X10X141X32||AMERICAIN (USA)||David Hayes||Craig Williams||8||59kg||118|
|2||4452X13111||MANIGHAR (FR)||Peter G Moody||Damien Oliver||2||59kg||118|
|3||6X211249X7||JIMMY CHOUX (NZ)||John Bary||Jonathan Riddell||4||59kg||117|
|4||X41X994260||RANGIRANGDOO (NZ)||Chris Waller||TBA||3||59kg||115|
|5||X241533X62||REKINDLED INTEREST||Jim Conlan||Dwayne Dunn||6||59kg||114|
|6||22X6X11472||SPEEDINESS||Colin Scott||Ms Kathy O’Hara||1||59kg||99|
|7||10X317X111||MORE JOYOUS (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||Nash Rawiller||7||57kg||125|
|8||4153X35238||SECRET ADMIRER||Grahame Begg||Brenton Avdulla||5||57kg||112|