Fifteen fillies and mares have been confirmed to contest Saturday’s Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick, highlighted by the inclusion of several previous winners at the highest level of Australian racing.
Catkins remains arguably the country’s most talented current racehorse yet to break through for a Group 1 victory but is offered a great chance of success in the 2015 Queen Of The Turf Stakes after being confirmed to be partnered by leading Hong Kong hoop Joao Moreira.
Finishing outside the first three only a handful of times through her 31 start career so far, Catkins has returned to racing in typically impressive form this time; winning each of the Group 2 Breeders’ Classic (1200m) and Group 3 Breeders’ Classic (1200m) before running a close second to fellow Queen Of The Turf Stakes acceptor Cosmic Endeavour in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m).
Having returned to the winner’s circle in the Group 2 Emancipation Stakes (1500m) last time out, the daughter of Dubawi will leave from barrier 10 this weekend.
A two-time Group 1 champion, Cosmic Endeavour steadily built to the task this time in; placing fourth in the Group 3 Triscay Stakes (1200m) and second in the Group 3 Guy Walter Stakes (1400m) prior to her Canterbury Stakes triumph.
Having been unable to figure when 14th in each of the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) and Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) most recently, the Northern Meteor mare is offered some chance of a return to form from barrier 4.
Noble Protector has returned to racing in exceptional condition this season and will be difficult to beat in the Queen Of The Turf Stakes from gate 7.
Beginning her career abroad in Britain before transferring to the care of Robert Smerdon partway through spring, Noble Protector returned this time for a resounding five length victory in the Group 3 Schweppervescence Trophy (1600m) before repeating the dose in the Group 2 Sunline Stakes (1600m) last time out.
Three-year-olds First Seal and Amicus are treated particularly well with the weights in the 2015 Queen Of The Turf Stakes and both won Group 1 feature races over a mile during the Spring Carnival.
First Seal has continued to post impressive results over four starts this time in; running second in the Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) and winning the Group 2 Surround Stakes (1400m) before beating beaten by a nose in each of the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) and Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) most recently.
Amicus was unable to match the late pace when sixth in the Vinery Stud Stakes most recently but was impressive when fourth in each of the Surround Stakes and Coolmore Classic through late February and March.
Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m) winner Bonaria will leave from the rails draw in the 2015 Queen Of The Turf Stakes while kiwi raider Diademe has been charged with overcoming gate 15.
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2015 Queen Of The Turf Stakes Final Field and Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||3111×42100||COSMIC ENDEAVOUR||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry||4||57kg||112|
|2||x1233x1121||CATKINS||Chris Waller||Joao Moreira||10||57kg||110|
|3||43×2474191||DIADEME (NZ)||Murray Baker||–||15||57kg||103|
|4||1x879x8030||DIAMOND DRILLE||Gai Waterhouse||Blake Shinn||11||57kg||106|
|5||684071×256||BONARIA||Pat Hyland||Hugh Bowman||1||57kg||104|
|6||12x1324x11||NOBLE PROTECTOR (GB)||Robert Smerdon||Craig Williams||7||57kg||104|
|7||47×2110232||SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (NZ)||Murray Baker||–||13||57kg||98|
|8||x50950x343||GYPSY DIAMOND||Peter & Paul Snowden||Sam Clipperton||12||57kg||97|
|9||50x2123x62||AMANPOUR||Gai Waterhouse||Kerrin McEvoy||3||57kg||94|
|10||80x01x8058||HERA (NZ)||Kris Lees||–||14||57kg||93|
|11||1x4676x734||INTIMATE MOMENT (NZ)||Chris Waller||Zac Purton||2||57kg||89|
|12||259x25x143||TELEPATHIC (NZ)||Chris Waller||Glen Boss||5||57kg||87|
|13||7114×55725||JUST A BLUR||Barbara Joseph & Paul Jones||–||6||57kg||77|
|14||12112×2122||FIRST SEAL||John P Thompson||James McDonald||8||54.5kg||107|
|15||x3221x9446||AMICUS||Chris Waller||Damien Oliver||9||54.5kg||95|