Late entry into the race The United States has opened favourite to continue his Group 1 winning form with success in Saturday’s Queen Elizabeth Stakes 2016 at Randwick Racecourse.
The richest race of the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival and headline event on Day 2 of ‘The Championships’, the $4 million Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) features a capacity, but Winx-free final field.
With Chris Waller’s six-time Group 1 winning mare Winx not backing up from her Doncaster success seven days prior, the new Queen Elizabeth Stakes betting favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au is the Robert Hickmott-trained, Lloyd Williams-owned import The United States.
A six-year-old son of Galileo, The United States costs connections a $66,000 late entry fee to gain a run after not originally featuring in the nominations for the weight-for-age classic.
They opted to fork out the hefty cost for the stallion after he won the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) over the same distance and conditions at Rosehill on March 19.
He runs for the first time since on Saturday with Kerrin McEvoy retaining the ride on the current $4.20 top elect; the last Queen Elizabeth Stakes favourite to salute being More Joyous (2012).
Hot on The United States’ heels in the pre-barrier Queen Elizabeth Stakes odds, the gates due for release on Tuesday afternoon, is the Waller-trained Preferment at $4.80.
An in-form four-year-old son of Zabeel, Preferment comes off back-to-back Group 1 wins having taken out the Australian Cup – The BMW double at Flemington and Rosehill respectively.
His weight-for-age The BMW victory came on March 26 from barrier four (of 10) with Hugh Bowman aboard.
Bowman rode Waller’s second Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner Reliable Man (2013) to victory three years ago and chases more success aboard Preferment on the weekend.
It is a fairly open market this season with another three single-figure hopes including Hauraki ($5.50) who James McDonald will ride after partnering the 2014 Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner It’s A Dundeel two years back.
Prepared by John O’Shea for the Godolphin stable, Hauraki is another flying four-year-old who shoots for his first win since March last season.
He has been very consistent this time in in top class however, the son of Reset having run third to Winx twice in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) and Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Randwick before a last start second to Saturday’s favourite in the Ranvet last time out.
Rounding out the hopes under $10 for the win are the internationally-performed Kris Lees-trained mare Lucia Valentina ($7) and the reigning Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner Criterion ($8).
A dual Group 1 winning daughter of Savabeel, five-year-old Lucia Valentina comes off a first-up fourth in the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) from last mount and has won just one from eight at Randwick to date.
Criterion’s track record at the course is better (10-2-2-2), the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained son of Sebring last seen running third in the Ranvet Stakes.
At more generous odds for an upset include Happy Clapper ($15) who ran an eye-catching second to Winx in last weekend’s Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) and Godolphin’s other acceptor It’s Somewhat ($16) coming off back-to-back Rosehill Group wins from March.
See below for the latest Queen Elizabeth Stakes 2016 fixed win odds, prices courtesy of Ladbrokes.com.au and set to be updated after the 5pm (AEDT) barrier draw this afternoon.