Leading jockey Kerrin McEvoy is confident that Carlton House is a genuine chance in the 2014 Queen Elizabeth Stakes after the imported galloper was nearly able to steal victory in the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
Carlton House was making his debut at Group 1 level in Australia in the Ranvet Stakes and set a genuine tempo in the early stages of the race, before kicking clear from the rest of the field coming around the bend.
McEvoy admitted that he got excited in the final stages of the race and, despite the fact Carlton House was caught by Silent Achiever on the line, was very impressed with the brave front-running effort of the son of Street Cry.
“We were nearly able to pull it off,” McEvoy told Racing Ahead this morning.
“He was out and striding along nicely and enjoying himself and it was a big buzz for me rounding the bend in The Queen’s colours, especially when he kicked for home.
“I was fairly excited inside that last furlong, but Nash got up and done me.
“He is a nice big horse and he has a nice big action on him and it was great to see him run that well.”
The Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on April 19 is the major 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival goal for Carlton House, but trainer Gai Waterhouse is yet to decide whether the six-year-old will have a race start in the lead-up to the Group 1 event that is named after his owner.
McEvoy believes that Carlton House is best suited to races over 2000 metres, rather than the 2400 metres of the Group 1 The BMW, and is confident that he will perform well in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes during The Championships.
“I would like to see him stay at ten furlongs,” McEvoy said.
“I suppose it is up in the air whether he goes out to ten furlongs and then comes back for the Queen Elizabeth.
“You would have to say that on that run he is going to be right in the mix for a tough three spot in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
Carlton House ($7) is currently on the third line of 2014 Queen Elizabeth Stakes betting markets behind It’s A Dundeel ($4.80) and Fiorente ($5.50), while Ranvet Stakes winner Silent Achiever is available at a quote of $7.