In-form four-year-old Awesome Rock impressed his co-trainer Troy Corstens with a nice piece of work on Easter Monday ahead of his likely 2016 Queen Elizabeth Stakes bid on Day 2 of The Championships, April 9.
The Fastnet Rock stallion had an elite level win denied this autumn after he lost the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) in the stewards’ room after the successful protest of second past the post Preferment at Flemington on March 12.
He hasn’t run again since, but Corstens kept him ticking over ahead of a possible run in the $4 million Group 1 Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick Saturday week with a gallop at Sandown on Monday.
He covered 1400m on the Lakeside-track finishing his final 200m sectional in a smart 10.73 seconds with his regular rider Stephen Baster aboard, who will retain the ride in the upcoming Queen Elizabeth, time that impressed Corstens.
“I’m extremely happy with the gallop. It was a sharp last 600m, and he’s good to go now,” he told Racing Victoria.
Dominating all-in Queen Elizabeth Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au at $1.60 is Chris Waller’s champion mare Winx who posted her fifth Group 1 win on March 19 at Rosehill leading an all-Waller trifecta in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m).
Waller has prepared two previous Queen Elizabeth Stakes winners with My Kingdom Of fife (2011) and Reliable Man (2013), the latter of which improved on a George Ryder sixth to win as an 11/1 shot.
Last year’s winner Criterion (2015) also came out of the George Ryder when second in the lead-up.
Awesome Rock, who is due to travel to Sydney this Sunday where he will stay at the Snowdens’ Randwick stables, meanwhile is only rated a $51 hope in futures Queen Elizabeth Stakes betting to score the upset in a race the winner has come off a non-Sydney lead-up just once since 1988.
The only other single figure hope to take out the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival’s richest race is Waller’s flying Zabeel four-year-old Preferment.
He led another all-Waller Group 1 first three at Rosehill over the weekend beating home his 2016 Sydney Cup-bound stablemates Who Shot Thebarman and Grand Marshal in the Group 1 The BMW (2400m).
The last Queen Elizabeth Stakes champ to back up out of a The BMW run was It’s A Dundeel who ran second in the lead-up in 2014.
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