Four Japanese trained horses are among the ninety-six nominations for the Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 9, Day Two of ‘The Championships’.
Tosen Stardom, trained by Yasutoshi Ikee, will be making his second trip to Sydney after running second to Contributer in the 2015 Group 1 $500,000 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill before running fifth to Criterion in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
Ikee has also nominated Tosen Reve, who is a two time winner for Sydney’s premier rider Hugh Bowman in Japan and Japan will also be represented by Isla Bonita, trained by Hironori Kurita, and Logotype,trained by Tsuyoshi Tanaka.
Isla Bonita is the winner of the 2014 Group 1 Japanese 2000 Guineas (1600m) while Logotype is a two time Group 1 winner, taking out the Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes (1600m) in his two year old season as well as winning 2013 Japanese 2000 Guineas.
Racing NSW Chief Executive, Peter V’landys is excited that ‘The Championships’ has attracted international interest again with the Japan horses coming to Sydney.
“We are again delighted to attract the interest from Japan with horses of this quality,” Peter V’landys said.
“Isla Bonita is one of the best horses in Japan. He won their 2000 Guineas before placing second in the Japanese Derby as a three-year-old and was crowned Champion Three Year Old Colt of Japan in 2014. In his past two starts Isla Bonita has finished third in the Tenno Sho (Autumn) and Japanese Mile Championship.”
But the Japanese will have a tough job getting past the might of Sydney’s premier trainer Chris Waller who has nominated fifteen for the Queen Elizabeth Stakes, headed by 2015 Cox Plate winner Winx.
Waller’ star studded list of entries along with Winx include Beaten Up, Good Project, Hawkspur, Kermadec, Kool Kompany, Preferment, Press Statement, Silverball, Star Wondering, Storm The Stars, Torgersen, Vanbrugh, Weary and Who Shot Thebarman.
Last year’s Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner Criterion heads the list of nominations from the Lindsay Park Team of David Hayes and Tom Dabernig.
As well as Criterion, they have nominated Irish Import Dibayani, 2014 Australian Oaks winner Rising Romance, Almoonqith and the improving He Or She.
Melbourne Cup winning trainer Darren Weir has taken over the training of glamour Perth filly Perfect Reflection and she is one of eight horses Weir has entered for the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
Perfect Reflection is the winner of all her five race starts and was transferred to Weir from Perth trained Grant Williams after winning the Group 1 $1m Kingston Town Classic (1800m) at Ascot in Perth in December.
Weir other Queen Elizabeth Stakes nominations are Lidari, Master Of Arts, Palentino, Signoff, Stratum Star, Tap That and Puccini.
Trainer John O’Shea’s nine nominations are Bow Creek, Contributer, Hartnell, Hauraki, It’s Somewhat, Magic Hurricane, Shards, Tally and Tarquin.
Gai Waterhouse has only two entries with Doomben Cup winner Pornichet and Moonee Valley Gold Cup third placegetter Bohemian Lily.
2013 Caulfield Cup winner and 2014 Cox Plate runner-up Fawkner, who is trained by Robert Hickmott, is the only Queen Elizabeth Stakes nominations from prominent race horse owner Lloyd Williams.
Leading Kiwi trainer Murray Baker has entered last year’s Caulfield Cup winner Mongolian Khan along with Emirates Stakes winner Turn Me Loose.
The well performed Lucia Valentina is one of five from the Kris Lees stable and the highly rated Hong Kong galloper Military Attack, trained by Casper Fownes, has also been nominated.
First acceptances for the Queen Elizabeth Stakes will be taken on March 8, 2016, with the final acceptances due on Tuesday, April 5, 2016.