Chris Waller’s champion mare Winx is the headline first acceptance taken for the Queen Elizabeth Stakes 2016 this Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival at Randwick Racecourse.
The highlight of the two-day ‘The Championships’ and the season’s richest race, this year’s $4 million Group 1 Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) originally attracted 96 nominations.
That number was reduced to 60 hopefuls on Tuesday when Queen Elizabeth Stakes first acceptances closed.
Sydney’s premier trainer Waller still has a total of 11 hopefuls heading towards the weight-for-age classic including the dominant early favourite in futures Queen Elizabeth Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au Winx ($2.10).
Undefeated in her past seven runs dating back to last winter, the Cox Plate champ was last seen winning the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) as the odds-on favourite at Randwick on February 27.
She is now also short-priced to take out the Queen Elizabeth Stakes back up over the distance she made history with when winning the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) in Melbourne.
Waller has prepared two previous Queen Elizabeth Stakes winners with My Kingdom Of Fife (2011) and Reliable Man (2013) and looks in an envious position again this autumn.
His other headline Queen Elizabeth Stakes first acceptors include beaten Randwick Guineas favourite last weekend Press Statement ($11), imported four-year-old stallion Storm The Stars ($15) who debuted down under with a seventh in the Chipping Norton, the reigning Doncaster Mile winner Kermadec ($17) who ran an eye-catching third first-up in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) last weekend and Chipping Norton fourth placed Zabeel four-year-old Preferment ($17).
Following Winx in the all-in Queen Elizabeth Stakes betting markets this season is the defending champion Criterion ($9), who is also still officially entered for the $2 million Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) at the same meeting.
Third over the two miles of the Melbourne Cup last spring after a Cox Plate second to Winx, the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained Sebring stallion ran last first-up in the Canterbury Stakes but will only improve over his campaign.
If he runs and is successful in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes Criterion will be the first back-to-back winner of the classic since the Gai Waterhouse-trained Grand Armee (2004-05).
Lindsay Park’s Hayes & Dabernig also paid the Queen Elizabeth Stakes first acceptance fee for Sandown Cup winner Almoonqith, Chipping Norton Stakes runner-up to Winx a fortnight back Dibayani, five-year-old He Or She and 2014 ATC Oaks winner Rising Romance.
Waterhouse meanwhile has prepared four previous Queen Elizabeth Stakes winners with dual hero Grand Armee followed by Desert War (2007) and More Joyous (2012).
This season she has just the one horse still in the mix, her four-year-old O’Reilly mare Bohemian Lily.
Adding international interest to the race is the inclusion of Japan’s Tosen Stardom ($15), the Yasutoshi Ikee-trained Deep Impact stallion having had two previous runs down under.
Last autumn he was runner-up to Contributer in Rosehill’s Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) before a fifth to Criterion in the Queen Elizabeth.
See below for the full Queen Elizabeth Stakes 2016 first declarations, the final acceptances and barrier draw released on April 5.
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2016 Queen Elizabeth Stakes First Acceptances
Randwick Racecourse – 09/04/2016
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Weight||Hcp. Rating|
|1||314181458x||ADDICTIVE HABIT (NZ)||G||6||Lee Somervell||59kg||103|
|2||x5067101x9||ALMOONQITH (USA)||H||6||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||59kg||–|
|3||0x5797x60x||AOMEN (IRE)||G||8||Anthony Cummings||59kg||98|
|4||4x30721x04||AWESOME ROCK||H||4||Leon & Troy Corstens||59kg||–|
|5||30x484256x||BEATEN UP (GB)||G||8||Chris Waller||59kg||104|
|6||x6x6x20x01||BOW CREEK (IRE)||H||5||John O’Shea||59kg||–|
|7||11×6013863||CENTRE PIVOT||G||5||Peter Robl||59kg||102|
|8||35x61239x7||CRITERION (NZ)||H||5||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||59kg||115|
|9||x0x3399x42||DIBAYANI (IRE)||G||6||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||59kg||–|
|10||60x2357x09||ENTIRELY PLATINUM (NZ)||G||6||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||59kg||–|
|11||7x123121x3||GOOD PROJECT||H||4||Chris Waller||59kg||–|
|12||57x157x80x||GUARDINI (FR)||H||5||Lee & Anthony Freedman||59kg||102|
|13||11x5x111x4||HAPPY CLAPPER||G||5||Patrick Webster||59kg||100|
|14||6050208×07||HAPPY TRAILS||G||8||Paul Beshara||59kg||–|
|15||114x4650x5||HARTNELL (GB)||G||5||John O’Shea||59kg||–|
|17||8x52415x20||HE OR SHE||G||5||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||59kg||–|
|18||19x87x23x6||IT’S SOMEWHAT (USA)||G||5||John O’Shea||59kg||–|
|19||31x52140x3||KERMADEC (NZ)||H||4||Chris Waller||59kg||113|
|20||0x09936x56||LEEBAZ (NZ)||G||6||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||59kg||104|
|21||60x900x2x0||LIDARI (FR)||H||7||Darren Weir||59kg||–|
|22||x143121x79||MAGIC HURRICANE (IRE)||G||6||John O’Shea||59kg||107|
|23||13213×38||MASTER OF ARTS (NZ)||H||4||Darren Weir||59kg||72|
|24||151x7431x0||MONGOLIAN KHAN||H||4||Murray Baker||59kg||–|
|26||6x7x9230x5||OUR IVANHOWE (GER)||H||6||Lee & Anthony Freedman||59kg||–|
|27||8x011907x4||PREFERMENT (NZ)||H||4||Chris Waller||59kg||–|
|28||x000820x03||PUCCINI (NZ)||H||5||Darren Weir||59kg||100|
|29||27x57523x2||ROCK STURDY||H||5||Joseph Pride||59kg||–|
|30||x731310x72||STRATUM STAR||H||4||Darren Weir||59kg||–|
|31||123x12310x||TERRUBI (IRE)||H||6||Kris Lees||59kg||107|
|32||5x0x51709x||TOSEN STARDOM (JPN)||H||5||Yasutoshi Ikee||59kg||–|
|33||1x62111x41||TURN ME LOOSE (NZ)||H||4||Murray Baker||59kg||–|
|34||3x70590x61||VOLKSTOK’N’BARRELL (NZ)||G||4||Donna Logan & Chris Gibbs||59kg||104|
|35||2x249000x9||WEARY (FR)||G||6||Chris Waller||59kg||–|
|36||x758701x90||WHO SHOT THEBARMAN (NZ)||G||7||Chris Waller||59kg||–|
|37||11x111x45x||GOLDSTREAM (ITY)||H||4||Kris Lees||58.5kg||95|
|38||x10042x5x8||KOOL KOMPANY (IRE)||H||4||Chris Waller||58.5kg||–|
|39||12132314×7||STORM THE STARS (USA)||H||4||Chris Waller||58.5kg||–|
|40||x35578x558||ADORABEEL (NZ)||M||6||Joseph Pride||57kg||87|
|41||0x12123x21||AZKADELLIA (NZ)||M||4||Ciaron Maher||57kg||–|
|42||x692330x65||BOHEMIAN LILY (NZ)||M||4||Gai Waterhouse||57kg||98|
|43||12x9102x92||FENWAY||M||4||Lee & Shannon Hope||57kg||–|
|44||2x21226x12||FIRST SEAL||M||4||John P Thompson||57kg||109|
|45||1x98046x00||GUST OF WIND (NZ)||M||4||John Sargent||57kg||–|
|46||76x648915x||LUCIA VALENTINA (NZ)||M||5||Kris Lees||57kg||110|
|47||14291410×3||MISS ROSE DE LAGO||M||5||Danny O’Brien||57kg||–|
|48||x620027x06||RISING ROMANCE (NZ)||M||5||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||57kg||–|
|49||311x117x13||SUAVITO (NZ)||M||5||Nigel Blackiston||57kg||–|
|52||0549x149x2||ZANBAGH||M||5||John P Thompson||57kg||–|
|53||2251×91||CROSLEY HOTSHOT||G||3||Bjorn Baker||55.5kg||70|
|54||x69358x823||GOLD AMBITION (NZ)||G||3||Bjorn Baker||55.5kg||73|
|56||11x2511x12||PRESS STATEMENT||C||3||Chris Waller||55.5kg||108|
|58||311731×42||TARZINO (NZ)||C||3||Mick Price||55.5kg||104|
|60||32098×4022||SINGLE GAZE||F||3||Nick Olive||53.5kg||83|