New Zealand pocket rocket It’s A Dundeel heads a quality nine-horse field for Saturday’s Group 1 $500,000 2013 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick.
Coming off a phenomenal Australian Derby victory, It’s A Dundeel steps up to take on the older horses but is still expected to start an odds-on favourite.
The three-year-old is the only last-start winner in the field and will be ridden by Michael Rodd in the absence of the suspended James McDonald.
Rodd didn’t hide his praise after riding the son of High Chaparral in trackwork on Tuesday.
“He’s a good mover, very balanced and actually feels like a sprinter when he works – he’s electric when you let him go,” Rodd told News Limited.
“He’s a cocky little bastard. He’s got confidence in his ability, and knows he’s pretty good.”
There’s a strong New Zealand presence in the race, with It’s A Dundeel joined by mares Silent Achiever and Zurella.
Silent Achiever has shown she is up to top class racing already this autumn and arrives in the Queen Elizabeth on the back of a BMW second.
Zurella was a Group 2 winner at the spring carnival but will have to turn around a last-start 11th in the Easter Handicap at Ellerslie.
Peter Moody’s star import Manighar returns to the race he finished second in last year and showed glimpses of a return to form when fourth in the George Ryder Stakes after a horror start to his campaign.
“He galloped really well during the week and this is the race we’ve targeted him for,” Moody said.
Others contesting the Queen Elizabeth Stakes include CHris Waller’s import Reliable Man and Group 1 winners Secret Admirer, Happy Trails and Glass Harmonium.
Queen Elizabeth Stakes 2013 – Final Field and Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||123x26x004||MANIGHAR (FR)||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||9||59kg||116|
|2||x3744x28x6||RELIABLE MAN (GB)||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||2||59kg||114|
|3||7x4902x250||GLASS HARMONIUM (IRE)||Michael Moroney||Steven Arnold||1||59kg||110|
|4||121501×990||HAPPY TRAILS||Paul Beshara||Glyn Schofield||4||59kg||110|
|5||314x4315x0||LAMASERY||David Vandyke||Peter Robl||8||59kg||107|
|6||6x414x2452||SILENT ACHIEVER (NZ)||Roger James||Tommy Berry||7||57kg||112|
|7||235033×548||SECRET ADMIRER||Grahame Begg||Blake Shinn||6||57kg||110|
|8||2x1706x350||ZURELLA (NZ)||Shaune Ritchie||Craig Newitt||3||57kg||100|
|9||11127×4111||IT’S A DUNDEEL (NZ)||Murray Baker||Michael Rodd||5||55.5kg||115|