The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
The two top fancies in Saturday’s Queen Elizabeth Stakes 2023 final field will jump alongside each other with Anamoe and Dubai Honour drawing barriers eight and nine respectively for the $5 million autumn classic.
Thirteen weight-for-age gallopers will face off in the Group 1 $5 million Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) on Day 2 of The Championships at Royal Randwick this weekend.
Heading the field with James McDonald continuing associations is Godolphin gun Anamoe chasing his fourth consecutive win this preparation.
The nine-time Group 1 champion is out to take his elite level wins into double-figures and has been building to this Grand Final.
His latest two have seen him salute as the odds-on elect in Group 1s with the four-year-old son of Street Boss completing the Chipping Norton Stakes – George Ryder Stakes double.
Cummings chases his first Queen Elizabeth Stakes trophy this autumn, while J. Mac already has one trophy in the cabinet having ridden the Kiwi Dundeel to victory back in 2014.
Anamoe will need to dig deep and rise again however facing a genuine threat in the international raider Dubai Honour who narrowly heads Queen Elizabeth Stakes betting at $2.40 through Ladbrokes.com.au.
Anamoe is hot on his heels occupying the second line of the markets at $2.60.
The European visitors have an excellent recent record in the event with back-to-back victories by the William Haggas-trained Addeybb in 2020 and 2021.
The British-based Haggas returns in 2023 saddling-up his talented Pride Of Dubai five-year-old Dubai Honour second-up down under.
In his Australian race debut the horse produced a powerhouse performance leaving his rivals for dead with a tearaway four-and-a-half-length Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) win at Rosehill on March 18.
Jockey Tom Marquand takes over in the saddle replacing Ryan Moore aboard Dubai Honour this weekend.
Addeybb completed the Ranvet – Queen Elizabeth Stakes double in 2020 before improving on a Ranvet second the following year when posting his second Queen Elizabeth victory.
The two dominant last start winners have a stranglehold on the market with the next best being Japanese raider Unicorn Lion at Queen Elizabeth Stakes odds of $11.
Drawn out wide in barrier 13 the seven-year-old No Nay Never entire is prepared by Yoshito Yahagi and has a three-from-five strike-rate over the 2000m.
He races for the first time since his distant seventh to Do Deuce in the Group 2 Kyoto Kinen (2200m) first-up on February 12, but is tipped to improve over his preferred distance on Saturday with Damian Lane to ride.
Cummings also saddles-up another last start Group 1 champion Cascadian from barrier five with Ben Melham continuing associations with the evergreen eight-year-old.
Cascadian took his career earnings up over $8.26 million last start claiming the $1.8 million winners’ cheque in Flemington’s Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m).
His return to winning form came on the back of his eye-catching second behind Mr Brightside in the $5 million The All-Star Mile (1600m) at The Valley.
That form has been a strong one to follow over the last couple of weeks with the winner, Mr Brightside, heading to Sydney last weekend to successfully defend his Doncaster Mile trophy.
Haggas is also dually represented in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes field this year with the favourite Dubai Honour to be joined in the starting line-up by his French-bred stablemate Protagonist in gate seven.
The Australian Bloodstock-raced six-year-old has had two runs down under winning the Group 3 Sky High Stakes (2000m) first-up before struggling on the Heavy (9) at the Randwick track in the Doncaster.
Protagonist finished eight lengths back 12th over the mile on the wet track, and he pays 50/1 to atone on the quick back-up out over the 2000m again in the Queen Elizabeth.
The trainer with the most Queen Elizabeth Stakes starters in 2023 however is Annabel Neasham who saddles-up a trio from her stable led by Mo’unga ($26).
Mo’unga comes off back-to-back thirds behind the two Queen Elizabeth favourites when 1.45 lengths off Anamoe in the Chipping Norton before his distant placing in the Ranvet Stakes.
The other Neasham-trained hopefuls are her Australian Cup runner-up Numerian ($51) and recent Irish import Gear Up ($101) coming off a third on debut for the stable in the Group 3 Neville Sellwood Stakes (2000m) a fortnight back.
The other horse of note in the mix is the David Payne-trained Montefilia ($15) with the classy mare coming off consecutive seconds to Dubai Honour in the Ranvet and Arapaho in the Group 1 Tancred Stakes (2400m).
2023 Queen Elizabeth Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Probable Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||x11114x111||ANAMOE||James Cummings||James McDonald||8||59kg||120|
|2||4x0x2426x1||DUBAI HONOUR (IRE)||William Haggas||Tom Marquand||9||59kg||117|
|3||x1616x69x0||ALENQUER (FR)||Michael Moroney||Joao Moreira||10||59kg||114|
|4||341154×521||CASCADIAN (GB)||James Cummings||Ben Melham||5||59kg||114|
|5||032852×533||MO’UNGA (NZ)||Annabel Neasham||Nash Rawiller||4||59kg||112|
|6||11x2250x42||NUMERIAN (IRE)||Annabel Neasham||Jamie Mott||3||59kg||110|
|7||12x00010x7||UNICORN LION (IRE)||Yoshito Yahagi||Damian Lane||13||59kg||110|
|8||47x000x121||ZEYREK (FR)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Tim Clark||12||59kg||108|
|9||4x41102x10||PROTAGONIST (FR)||William Haggas||7||59kg||105|
|10||4x451214x3||GEAR UP (IRE)||Annabel Neasham||John Allen||6||59kg||104|
|11||2120423×05||HEZASHOCKA (NZ)||Mick Price & Michael Kent (Jnr)||Brenton Avdulla||1||59kg||104|
|12||8x4340x522||MONTEFILIA||David Payne||Dylan Gibbons (a)||11||57kg||114|
|13||8x3381x847||EL PATRONESS||Danny O’Brien||Hugh Bowman||2||57kg||104|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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