The 2015 Queen Elizabeth Stakes field has been released and a number of the most talented weight-for-age gallopers in the world are set to contest the Group 1 event at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Contributer has been the star weight-for-age performer of the 2015 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival and he will have the chance to complete an autumn clean sweep when he contests the $4 million event this weekend.
The Godolpin import started his autumn campaign with a fast-finishing victory in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on February 14 and he went on to stamp himself as a favourite in Queen Elizabeth Stakes betting market by replicating that win in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Warwick Farm on February 28 and the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 21.
The Queen Elizabeth Stakes will have an international presence for the first time in 2015 and Japanese gallopers To The World and Tosen Stardom have both been included in the acceptances for the prestigious event.
To The World stamped himself as one of the most exciting horses in the world when he finished second behind champion Japanese mare Gentildonna in the Group 1 The Arima Kinen (2500m) at Nakayama at the end of last year and he was well-backed in the lead-up to the Group 1 The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 28, but he was outstayed by Hartnell and finished second.
Tosen Stardom is yet to record a win at the highest level of racing and he is rated slightly below To The World in Japan, but he made his Australian racing debut with a fast-finishing second behind Contributer in the Ranvet Stakes and will likely benefit from a stronger early speed in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
Criterion has not recorded a race win since he took out the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) 12 months ago, but he will have the chance to return to winning form this weekend after being included in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes field.
The Sebring entire produced an outstanding performance to finish third behind Designs On Rome and Military Attack in the Group 1 Hong Kong Cup (2000m) at Sha Tin in December last year and he finished a credible third in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Royal Randwick on March 7 before he was narrowly denied a third win at Group 1 level by Real Impact in the George Ryder Stakes at Rosehill Gardens on March 21 – form that was franked when Real Impact, Kermadec and Royal Descent filled the Doncaster Mile trifecta yesterday.
One of the most interesting runners in the 2015 Queen Elizabeth Stakes field is Chris Waller-trained Adelaide, who will be making his first appearance at the races this preparation.
Adelaide stamped himself as a genuine start when he worked home from the tail of the field to record a most impressive win in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley last year, but there have been mixed reports about how the Galileo entire has performed since he joined the Waller stable and he has produced two flat performances in barrier trials at Rosehill Gardens on February 17 and Warwick Farm on March 12.
Royal Descent hit the line strongly in the Doncaster Mile yesterday and is set to back-up in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes, while Happy Trails did not appear to relish the heavy conditions and trainer Paul Beshara is hoping for a drier track this weekend.
Talented mare Lucia Valentina, Australian Cup winner Spillway, veteran stayer Red Cadeaux, the Anthony Cummings-trained duo of Aomen and Fiveandahalfstar and Chris Waller-trained Beaten Up have also been included in the 2015 Queen Elizabeth Stakes field.