Team Cummings will have the opportunity to bounce back from their disappointment about not have a runner in the 2013 Melbourne Cup when veteran stayer Precedence contests the Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Precedence narrowly missed out on a place in the 2013 Melbourne Cup field, after being 25th in the order of entry, but will have a chance to record his second straight win and earn connections a $100,000 bonus when he takes on a field of thirteen other stayers in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
The Zabeel gelding has performed strongly this preparation, finishing second in the Benalla Gold Cup (2046m) before winning the Group 2 Drake International Cup (2500m) at Moonee Valley just under a fortnight ago, and has been well supported to record his fifth victory at Group level.
Sertorius is also going into the Queen Elizabeth Stakes on the back of an impressive win, scoring a comfortable one and a half lengths win in the Listed Bendigo Cup (2400m), and connections are hopeful that he can replicate the feat of Puissance De Lune and complete the Bendigo Cup/Queen Elizabeth Stakes double.
The Galileo gelding will be stepping-up to Group level for just the third time in his career after finishing second in the Group 3 Zaidee’s Rainbow Victoria Handicap (1400m) during the 2013 Melbourne Festival Of Racing and producing a strong performance first-up in the Group 3 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m) at the start of his spring campaign.
Imported stayer Forgotten Voice missed out on a gaining a start in the 2013 Melbourne Cup but, like Precedence, will have the chance to claim the $100,000 bonus on offer for Melbourne Cup acceptors this weekend.
The veteran gelding arrived in Australia after recording back-to-back wins in the Listed Wolferton Handicap (2000m) and the Group 3 Glorious Stakes (2400m) but failed to fire in the Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m) last week.
Connections said that Forgotten Voice failed to handle the heavy track in the Geelong Cup and are expecting him to produce a much improved effort on firm ground in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
Gerald Ryan-trained Ironstein has raced consistently without breaking through for a win this preparation, finishing a game sixth in the Group 3 Lexus Stakes (2500m) on Victoria Derby Day, and will be having his third career start in a race that he has plenty of past success in.
The son of Zabeel recorded a dominant two and a half lengths victory in the 2012 edition of the race and finished second behind Puissance De Lune in last year’s race – well clear of highly-rated European stayers Lost In The Moment and Shahwardi.
Ironstein will be the first horse since 1979 Melbourne Cup winner Hyperno to win the Queen Elizabeth Stakes on multiple occasions if he is successful on Saturday.