A star-studded lineup of horses are set to contest the Group 1 $500,000 2012 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (200m) at Royal Randwick tomorrow.
The race is one of four Group 1 events in the harbour city and probably contains the most talent with glamour More Joyous stepping up to take on classy stayers Manighar and Americain.
More Joyous has only run the distance once before when fifth in the 2010 Cox Plate (2040m) and it will be a tough ask to tackle high quality horses who are used to running, and in some cases winning, at the length.
But the Gai Waterhouse-trained mare is a star and she will start as favourite as she looks to extend her impressive resume of 18 wins from 25 starts.
Six of the eight starters are Group 1 winners but the biggest threat to preventing More Joyous scoring a fourth straight victory is Manighar who is chasing a fourth consecutive win of his own.
The star import has been one of the horses of the autumn, producing a Group 1 treble in the Australian Cup, Ranvet Stakes and the BMW.
Not sure who to put your punting money behind? Don’t worry, the Races.com.au team have been hard at work analysing the lead-up form and have developed our best tips for the Sydney feature.
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#2 Manighar ($3.80)
The bookmakers keep offering his opponents up as favourites but Manighar just keeps on winning.
Part of leading trainer Peter Moody’s stables, the French import has had a stellar autumn with three consecutive Group 1 victories.
Two of those victories have come at the Queen Elizabeth 2000-metre distance and with such an accomplished record at the length combined with his new-found turn of foot we can not look past the six-year-old to make it four straight Group 1 victories.
The only question mark appears to be how Manighar handles reverting back to Melbourne Cup jockey Damien Oliver who has assumed the ride with regular jockey Luke Nolen on Black Caviar duty in Adelaide.
#7 More Joyous and #1 Americain
It may be boring but the top three favourites are simply the best horses in the race.
More Joyous did what many thought she couldn’t last weekend and won the Doncaster in less than favourable conditions so expect to see a good showing again tomorrow from a horse that has proved she is special.
How she handles the step up in distance will be interesting especially against credentialed stayers Manighar and Americain.
Americain should be near the front end of the field but he likes a bit more distance and the 2000 metres might be a bit short to win as it was when he produced a strong third-place finish in the Australian Cup.
Craig Williams takes the ride on the former Melbourne Cup winner after French Jockey Gerald Mosse produced a much-maligned effort in the BMW.
#8 Secret Admirer ($18.00)
The Grahame Begg-trained mare is backing up seven days after finishing eighth in last weekend’s Doncaster and that is when she produces her best efforts.
A two-time Group 1 winner, both her Epsom and Flight Stakes wins came with one-week turnarounds and she has received a favourable barrier five draw after struggling in the Doncaster with a wide run.