The Gai Waterhouse trained Carlton House remains the clear cut favourite for the Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on Saturday following tonight’s barrier draw.
Carlton House draw barrier five in the twelve horse weight for age feature on the second day of ‘The Championships’ and is a $3.50 top pick with Ladbrokes.com.au.
The Roger James trained Silent Achiever is the second pick at $4.60 after coming up with barrier seven and has a great chance of winning her fourth Group 1 race on the trot after being undefeated during the Autumn.
“It’s fair to say she’s gone to another level this autumn,’’ James told The Daily Telegraph.
“I put it down to blinkers and maturity.”
The Cambridge trainer added the blinkers to Silent Achiever’s gear before her win in the Group 1 NZ$200,000 Lindauer New Zealand Stakes (2000m) at Ellerslie on March 8 and the five year old mare has been undefeated at Group 1 level since.
The 2012 New Zealand Derby winner was unable to win a Group 1 race in Australia until she beat Carlton House in the Group 1 $500,000 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on March 22, her second run with the blinkers on.
And then she made it a hat trick of Group 1 wins by beating It’s A Dundeel and Fiorente in the Group 1 $1.5m The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill on April 5.
Hawkspur ($11) drew the best barrier of the five Chris Waller runners and will jump from gate four with Jim Cassidy to ride.
Waller’s other runners drew the outside four barriers, starting with Boban ($8.50) at nine, My Kingdom Of Fife ($101) at ten, Royal Descent ($8) at eleven and Sacred Falls ($13) at twelve.
Scared Falls with Zac Purton, Royal Descent with Damien Oliver and Hawkspur with Jim Cassidy are backing up after finishing first, second and fourth in last week’s Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick while My Kingdom Of Fire will be better suited over the 2000m after finishing tenth in the famous Randwick Mile.
While number one saddle cloth holder Boban is going into the Queen Elizabeth Stakes without having a run for three weeks after running seventh to Gordon Lord Byron in the Group 1 $1m George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on March 29.
James McDonald is certain to give It’ A Dundeel ($6) a beautiful run from the inside gate and he will get his chance to turn the tables on rival Kiwi galloper Silent Achiever.
Green Moon from the Robert Hickmott stable drew barrier eight, Toydini ($51) drew barrier two, the Clarry Conners trainer Dear Demi ($51) came up with gate six while the outsider of the field Le Roi ($126) will jump from gate three.