Rob Heathcote’s special little filly Startantes...
The international raiders look to have a stranglehold on this autumn’s Queen Elizabeth Stakes 2020 field with the Japanese-trained Danon Premium and UK visitor Addeybb leading betting on the Royal Randwick feature.
The marquee race on Day 2 of ‘The Championships’, this season’s Group 1 Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) offers a reduced $2 million in prizemoney due to the COVID-19 pandemic and runs as Race 8 on the card.
The weight-for-age classic drew a field of 13 and for the first time in four years runs without triple champion Winx.
Sitting top of the latest Queen Elizabeth Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au to become the first winner in the post-Winx era is the Japanese-trained star Danon Premium to be ridden by James McDonald from barrier three.
The well-bred Deep Impact stallion boats a commanding career record of six wins from 10 starters and was a dual Group 1 runner-up back home late last year.
Kept fresh for this, the bookies are taking no chances with this high-profile visitor who is at $3.70 and firming.
The danger occupying the second line of betting at current Queen Elizabeth Stakes odds of $4.60 is the rails-drawn Addeybb for William Haggas.
Tom Marquand, who has been flying down under this season, retains the ride on the exciting Pivotal gelding who blitzed his Australian race debut on Slipper Day with a thrilling win in the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill.
Runner-up Verry Elleegant franked the Ranvet Stakes form next start with her Group 1 Tancred Stakes (2400m) success, while the fourth-placed Nettoyer went on to score an upset at $41 in last Saturday’s Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m).
A further three Queen Elizabeth Stakes runners in the star-studded field are under $10 for the win including the $5.50 third elect Te Akau Shark from New Zealand.
Opie Bosson continues his association with Jamie Richards’ outstanding five-year-old who won the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) defeating Verry Elleegant at this track and distance in late February.
Te Akau Shark was last seen placing third in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) on March 21, but will relish the rise in distance here having finished third to the Japanese-trained Lys Gracieux in Melbourne’s iconic Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) last October.
Te Akau Shark, drawn gate eight, is joined in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes field in 2020 by stablemate Melody Belle, the 10-time Group 1 winning mare on the short seven-day turnaround.
Rated an $11 hope to score the upset this weekend, the Commands five-year-old backed up from her third-place finishes in the Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) and $5 million The All-Star Mile (1600m) in Melbourne running fourth as the beaten favourite in last weekend’s Doncaster Mile.
Caught wide throughout on the Heavy (8) track, Melody Belle made up plenty of late ground when only 1.4 lengths off the upset winner Nettoyer and is after atonement here going up in distance fourth-up.
Jockey Kerrin McEvoy comes aboard for the ride in barrier four as the mighty mare looks to go one better than her Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) second to Magic Wand at Flemington during last year’s Cup Carnival at her last 2000m run.
The aforementioned Ranvet Stakes runner-up and Tancred Stakes champ Verry Elleegant meanwhile is back chasing more elite level success and is at $6.50 to hand Waller with his fourth straight victory in the Queen Elizabeth.
Nash Rawiller rides the classy daughter of Zed who is out to be the first Tancred Stakes winner to drop back in distance and win the Queen Elizabeth in the same year since Eremein (2006).
Along with Verry Elleegant, master horseman Waller will look to continue his dominance in the race saddling-up a further four runners with: Kolding (5), Kings Will Dream (11), Imaging (10) and Life Less Ordinary (12).
The outside alley meanwhile hosts the last of the single-figure fancies with the in-form Master Of Wine ($9) for Hawkes Racing.
Chasing a fifth win on the trot, the Maxios gelding rises in grade on the back of his runaway 3.5 length victory in the Group 3 Sky High Stakes (2000m) run on a Heavy (10) at Rosehill back in mid-March.
2020 Queen Elizabeth Stakes Field & Barriers
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp. Rating|
|1||x6x110x22x||DANON PREMIUM (JPN)||Mitsumasa Nakauchida||James McDonald||3||59kg||118|
|2||3x4121x2x1||ADDEYBB (IRE)||William Haggas||Tom Marquand||1||59kg||116|
|3||84x231x358||HAPPY CLAPPER||Patrick Webster||Sam Clipperton||7||59kg||116|
|4||1x2223x113||TE AKAU SHARK (NZ)||Jamie Richards||Opie Bosson||8||59kg||116|
|5||6621x421x3||VOW AND DECLARE||Danny O’Brien||Glen Boss||6||59kg||113|
|6||x5111x4577||KOLDING (NZ)||Chris Waller||Glyn Schofield||5||59kg||111|
|7||2x037902x0||GAILO CHOP (FR)||Matthew Williams||Adam Hyeronimus||9||59kg||109|
|8||58166×3205||KINGS WILL DREAM (IRE)||Chris Waller||Joshua Parr||11||59kg||109|
|9||112x20x810||IMAGING (GB)||Chris Waller||Brenton Avdulla||10||59kg||108|
|10||22x2311x11||MASTER OF WINE (GER)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Tim Clark||13||59kg||108|
|11||03374×6646||LIFE LESS ORDINARY (IRE)||Chris Waller||Jason Collett||12||59kg||103|
|12||x9410x4221||VERRY ELLEEGANT (NZ)||Chris Waller||Nash Rawiller||2||57kg||116|
|13||411112×334||MELODY BELLE (NZ)||Jamie Richards||Kerrin McEvoy||4||57kg||115|
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