Queen Elizabeth Stakes 2015 favourite Contributer will jump from the outside gate in the Group 1 event at Royal Randwick tomorrow, but trainer John O’Shea will still not give jockey James McDonald any riding instructions ahead of the race.
Contributer has shown a degree of tactical versatility during his Australian racing career to date and he won the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) when settled just behind the speed, but produced an even better performance when he was allowed to find his feet in the early stages of the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m).
O’Shea told Racing Ahead that he has relied on McDonald to put Contributer in the right position during his undefeated 2015 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival campaign to date and will not be changing that formula in the 2015 Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
“We are really happy with the horse,” McDonald said.
“We are obviously disappointed with where he is drawn, but the horse we can’t fault.
“I don’t even give James any tactics and he will just ride him where he is comfortable and wherever he thinks is the best spot.
“He has got it right so far with that approach, so we won’t be changing anything coming into Saturday.”
Contributer is currently available at 2015 Queen Elizabeth Stakes odds of $3.70 and remains a narrow favourite in betting markets for the Group 1 event from To The World ($4.20), Criterion ($7), Adelaide ($8) and Tosen Stardom ($8).
O’Shea believes that Contributer deserves his status as the horse to beat in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes, but he admits that the five-year-old will need to perform at his very best to record a third straight win at Group 1 level.
“The market says that he is the horse to beat and his form has been good,” O’Shea said.
“He ticks a lot of boxes, but I think that it is a very strong version of the race and you obviously have some well performed international horses and Haysies (David Hayes) horses coming new on the scene and it is obviously on an upwards spiral
“It is not for me to comment on Adelaide – he is a champion horse and as to how he is going his connections would be the best to ask about that.”
O’Shea will be having his first ever runner in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes, while McDonald is chasing his second straight win after steering It’s A Dundeel to victory in the 2014 edition of the race.