The Ron Quinton-trained Royal Celebration is one...
A talented and capacity field has been confirmed for Saturday’s featured 2016 Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick; offering punters exceptional value from a betting standpoint and several key opportunities to place a winning wager.
The United States ($4.20) remains outright favourite in 2016 Queen Elizabeth Stakes betting markets with leading online bookie Ladbrokes.com.au despite drifting several times, ahead of clear market mover Criterion and Preferment; currently sharing the second line at a quote of $5.50 each.
Will The United States justify his comfortable favouritism in the $4 million feature or will one of his rivals claim the highly sought-after purse?
Reigning champion Criterion appears to have built towards his title defence in the 2016 Queen Elizabeth Stakes perfectly, and will be very tough to beat on a soft track on Day 2 of The Championships. A four-time Group 1 winner, Criterion returned to racing in spring for first-up success in the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) before placing second in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) and third in the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m). Clearly needing the run and more distance when seventh in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) first-up, the Sebring entire ran on for third in the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) last time out and should be given a gem of a ride by in-form hoop Tommy Berry this weekend.
Godolphin runner Hauraki has returned to racing in particularly slick form this time and is sure to lay a great account for himself in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes with leading hoop James McDonald in the saddle. Posting three wins and six minors through fourteen career starts so far, the Reset gelding resumed this time for third in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) on February 13th; progressing to second behind Winx in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) and second in the Ranvet Stakes last time. While drawn wide in barrier 14, Hauraki’s form suggests he will be right in the finish of the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
Lucia Valentina ($8)
Consistent mare Lucia Valentina will return to her pet distance in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes, has been charged with carrying only 57kgs and will be partnered by champion jockey Damien Oliver. A two-time Group 1 winner at 2000m, the Savabeel charged home to win the Group 2 Matriarch Stakes (2000m) at the conclusion of the 2015 Spring Carnival before running a commendable fifth in the Group 1 Hong Kong Cup (2000m) at Sha Tin on December 13th. Resuming this time for fourth in the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m), Lucia Valentina has trialled well leading into the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
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