Damien Oliver is thrilled to have been confirmed for the ride aboard The United States in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) on Day 2 of The Championships at Royal Randwick.
The reigning Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner, Oliver piloted the Kris Lees-trained Lucia Valentina to success in the feature race in 2016, who flashed home late to beat The United States to the Sydney Autumn Carnival’s richest windfall.
While Winx has all but been confirmed as the Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner by the greater Australian racing fraternity, Oliver is thrilled to be climbing aboard the Galileo entire for the first time this weekend.
“It’s great to go into such a big day of racing with some good mounts and I’m really looking forward to riding The United States,” Oliver told Racing Victoria.
“He’s been running well but I suppose we’ll see how he lines up on Saturday.
“He did run second in the race last year and he’s a proven weight-for-age performer and the 2000 metres is a good trip for him and he doesn’t mind the wet either.”
Having returned to the paddock after his well-fought second in last year’s Queen Elizabeth Stakes, The United States clearly required a run when he returned in spring for sixth in the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m), but responded with a comfortable win in the Group 2 Crystal Mile (1600m) second-up.
Placing fourth in the Group 1 Cantala Stakes (1600m) and fifth in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (2000m), The United States ran on well to finish third in the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) upon returning to competition on February 25th.
Progressing to fifth in the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m), The United States maintained to the line well to finish third behind Our Ivanhowe and Hartnell in the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) last time out on March 18th.
The 2017 Queen Elizabeth Stakes field and barrier draw is due to be completed and released by midday, Tuesday (April 4th).
The United States is currently available at Queen Elizabeth Stakes odds of $15 with Ladbrokes Australia.