Last year’s winner Criterion will head up a full field of fourteen runners for the Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) on the second day of ‘The Championships’ at Randwick on Saturday.
As well as the fourteen weight for age contestants making up the final field, two emergencies have been added, Australian Cup runner up Awesome Rock and the Chris Waller trained Weary.
As well as Criterion, the Lindsay Park Team of David Hayes and Tom Dabernig will also be represented by Irish import Dibayani and Rising Romance.
In-form Group 1 winning jockey Tommy Berry has picked up the ride on Criterion, replacing the injured Michael Walker while Nicholas Hall rides Dibayani and Damian Lane takes over from Craig Williams on Rising Romance.
With Winx being a non-acceptor, Waller still has Preferment in the main field and the four year old will be chasing a Group 1 hat trick after winning the $1.5m Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 12 and the $1.5m The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill on March 26.
Hugh Bowman has been aboard Preferment at his last two starts and gets the mount again on Saturday.
Connections of The United States have paid a $66,000 late entry fee to gain a spot in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes field after the European import put himself into contention with a win in the Group 1 $700,000 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on March 19.
Kerrin McEvoy has retained the ride on Robert Hickmott trained six year old.
Trainer John O’Shea will have two runners with It’s Somewhat and Hauraki to carry the Godolphin royal blue colours.
Sam Clipperton is back on board It’s Somewhat after the pair combined to win the Group 2 $175,000 Ajax Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on March 12 two starts back before Godolphin’s number one rider James McDonald steered It’s Somewhat to victory in the Group 3 $150,000 The Daily Telegraph Neville Sellwood Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on March 26.
McDonlad will stick with Hauraki in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes after the pair combined for a second to The United States in the Ranvet Stakes.
Trainer Pat Webster is set to back up Happy Clapper who ran a mighty race to run second to super mare Winx in the Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick last Saturday with Brenton Avdulla retaining the mount.
“His two runs at weight-for-age have been good and he could go to the Queen Elizabeth and not be out of place,” Webster said.
Trainer Lee Freedman has reported that Our Ivanhowe has overcome foot soreness after running tenth of ten behind Preferment in The BMW and will take his place in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
The final field for the Queen Elizabeth Stakes: 1 Criterion, 2 Preferment, 3 Mongolian Khan, 4 Our Ivanhowe, 5 The United States, 6 Happy Trails, 7 It’s Somewhat, 8 Dibayani, 9 Happy Clapper, 10 Hauraki, 11 Leebaz, 12 Lucia Valentina, 13 Rising Romance, 14 Fenway, Emergencies: 15 Awesome Rock, 16 Weary.
The barrier draw for the Queen Elizabeth Stakes will be conducted at 5pm today.