Godolphin’s flying Ranvet Stakes winner Contriubter may have drawn wide for his next big test at Royal Randwick this weekend but the in-form import remains the one to beat in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes 2015 odds.
There are four more Group 1 features running in Sydney on Saturday for Day 2 of The Championships, the headline event being the lucrative $4 million Group 1 Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m).
On Tuesday a below capacity final field of just 13 hopefuls was released for the Queen Elizabeth including the John O’Shea-trained Contributer in the outside barrier.
Double digit draws have been a definite hoodoo for runners in the race over the past two decades with the last Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner to jump from wider than barrier eight being Doriemus way back in 1996.
That hasn’t stopped the bookmakers installing star High Chaparral stallion Contriubter at the top of this year’s Queen Elizabeth Stakes betting markets however, the gun five-year-old at a current quote of $3.60 to win through Ladbrokes.com.au.
He has won all three of his starts this time in, including his only previous run at Randwick Racecourse first-up in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m).
Since then the former European galloper has completed a top autumn double with wins in both the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Warwick Farm in February and the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on March 21.
The lead-up form then is imposing but jockey James McDonald, shooting for back-to-back Queen Elizabeth Stakes wins, still has the horror barrier 13 of 13 draw to overcome.
Hot on Contributer’s heels in the updated Queen Elizabeth Stakes odds at $4 for the win is then Japanese raider To The World.
Out to become the second four-year-old in as many world’s to win the race following the success of New Zealand galloper It’s A Dundeel 12 months ago, this visiting King Kamehameha stallion has had one lead-up run down under.
Runner-up to champion Japanese stayer Gentildonna in the Group 1 Arima Kinen (2500m) last December back home, To The World travelled down under for a raid on the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival and debuted in Oz on March 28 at Rosehill.
There he made an immediate impact running second to Hartnell in the Group 1 The BMW (2400m), a race that last year’s Queen Elizabeth winner It’s A Dundeel also ran second in for his final lead-up.
To The World also fared much better than his main danger in the barrier draw on Tuesday and will jump from gate five, which last produced a winner back in 2001 with Shogun Lodge.
There are then three other single-figure hopes in the current Queen Elizabeth Stakes markets including the second of the two Japanese-trained hopefuls, Tosen Stardom at $7.50.
Tommy Berry, chasing his first win in the race, retains the ride on the Deep Impact four-year-old who also comes off a Group 1 second in his Australian race debut.
The stallion, winner of the Group 3 Challenge Cup (1800m) back in Japan in mid-December, was one and a quarter lengths off Contriubter in the Ranvet Stakes and will be out to turn the tables here despite also having drawn wide with barrier 11.
The other $7.50 equal third favourite for Saturday’s super showdown is then the internationally-performed Criterion jumping from a favourable barrier four draw with Craig Williams aboard.
Pompeii Ruler (2009) was the last horse to win the Queen Elizabeth from barrier four while Williams is yet to ride a winner in the race.
The David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained Sebring stallion Criterion is third-up for the autumn following two nice Group 1 placings since his return from a Hong Kong Cup third overseas behind local star Designs In Rome on December 14.
First-up he ran third to Cosmic Endeavour in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Randwick, where he has won just one of his eight starts, before his second to another Japanese galloper Real Impact in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) on March 21.
The George Ryder Stakes last produced a Queen Elizabeth champion just two years ago when Chris Waller’s ill-fated import Reliable Man finished sixth before his win.
The last of the hopes under $10 is then Waller’s returning Galileo four-year-old Adelaide ($8.50) out in barrier 12 for jockey Ryan Moore, before the markets open right up.
Waller has won two of the past four editions of the race with Reliable Man (2013) and My Kingdom Of Fife (2011), another import Adelaide racing for the first time since his Cox Plate win in Melbourne last October.
The next best in betting are top Group 1 winning mares Lucia Valentina ($16) and Waller’s perennial Group 1 placegetter Royal Descent ($17) who ran third to stablemate Kermadec in Monday’s Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m).
Check out the latest Queen Elizabeth Stakes 2015 odds below, then visit Ladbrokes.com.au to lock in your selections in their exclusive Best Tote or SP + 20% markets!