Autumn Carnival weight for age star Contributer will be suited by the soft Randwick track when he lines up in the Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) on Saturday.
Contributer has won all three Sydney Autumn Carnival appearances at weight for age with wins in the Group 2 $250,000 Optus Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Randwick, the Group 1 $350,000 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Warwick Farm and the Group 1 $500,000 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill.
Godolphin’s assistant trainer, former champion jockey Darren Beadman, has reported from their Osborne Farm training complex that Contributer is in great order and anticipates the softish Randwick track will suit the English import perfectly.
“If there is one track in Australia that really does suit Contributer is Randwick,” Beadman told Sky Channel’s Racing HQ.
“There is just that little bit of give in the ground on the sand base.”
“The 2000m, he has been the superior weight for age horse here in Sydney over his last three starts. He has been winning with great authority and he is a very very happy horse mentally and physically.”
Head trainer John O’Shea, along with the whole of the Godolphin team, have aimed Contributer towards the Queen Elizabeth Stakes on the second day of ‘The Championships’ and the five year old hasn’t put a foot wrong.
“It’s been a bit of a long range plan to target this race, we are very close, it’s just around the corner,” Beadman said.
Beadman was on hand to watch Contributer work along with Sydney Cup favourite Hartnell at Osborne Park this morning with both horses pleasing O’Shea.
“Out here at Osborne Park, Agnes Banks, and they had a nice little leisurely gallop on our grass track. They worked through lovely and come out of the gallop with flying colours,” Beadman said.
“We trotted them up this morning after their gallops. Hartnell is just glistening in the sunshine up here. He is really primed for the race and so is Contributer.”
“John could not be any more happier. Just the way some of the expressions John out laid this morning after the horses worked, he is very happy.”
James McDonald has established a great association with Contributer, and as well as being aboard for all three wins this preparation, steered him to a win in the Group 3 $150,000 David Jones Cup (2000m) at Caulfield in October at his first Australian Start.
The in-form jockey will have to be at the top of his game again this week after Contributer came up with the outside barrier in the thirteen horse Queen Elizabeth Stakes field.
The market order at Ladbrokes.com.au has Contributer as the $3.60 favourite for the Queen Elizabeth Stakes with the Japanese galloper To The World also highly rated at $4 with Tosen Stardom and Criterion sharing the next line of betting at $7.50 just ahead of last year’s Cox Plate winner Adelaide at $8.50.
Queen Elizabeth Stakes market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.60 Contributer, $4 To The World, $7.50 Tosen Stardom, Criterion, $8.50 Adelaide, $15 Lucia Valentina, $17 Royal Descent, $21 Spillway $26 Beaten Up, $34 Red Cadeaux, $41 Happy Trails, $51 Fiveandahalfstar, $201 Aomen.