The Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) will be run on a slow track on the second day of ‘The Championships’ at Randwick today.
The first day of ‘The Championships’ at Randwick last Saturday was run on a heavy 9 and it was feared that the track would still be heavily rain affected this week after more rain fell earlier in the week, but with clear skies since Thursday morning, chief steward Ray Murrihy and track manager Nevesh Rhamdani were able to put up the slow 7 rating this morning with the rail being pushed out to the six metre mark.
“We had a great day yesterday, it got up to twenty-six and a half degrees as a maximum. There wasn’t a strong a breeze as we would have liked, but in saying that it was at least a sunny day and we rated it as a slow 7 this morning,” Rhamdani told Racing HQ Saturday this morning.
“The Penetrometer is five point seven eight.”
Although Rhamdani is happy with the overall way the track has responded this week, he said that there is still a small trouble spot near the home turn around the four hundred metre mark.
“From the thousand to the five hundred is not too bad, the last little section as they are turning for home I’d say that that is probably the worst section of the track purely because there is still a little bit of damage out wide as they turned for home last week they kept a pretty wide line around that final corner.”
“So that would be an area to look out for but the rest of the track generally is intact. We have gotten away from the damage almost entirely with moving the rail out to six metres. There’s a fresh good pad of ground.”
“It looks like a really good surface despite the conditions from last week and I think it will play that way as well.”
With an heavy overnight dew, Rhamdani is not expecting the track to be upgraded to anything better than slow during the day.
The better than expected racing surface has seen only three scratchings with the four Group 1s losing only one runner with the Kris Lees trainer Sharnee Rose coming out of the Group 1 $1m Cellarbrations Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) after pulling up sore following trackwork earlier in the week and has subsequently been retired.
The Group 2 $500,000 Arrowfield Royal Sovereign Stakes (1200m) has been reduced to eleven runners with the scratching of Boss Lane while Viva Splendido was withdrawn from the Group 2 $300,000 Drummond Golf Sapphire Stakes (1200m) leaving twelve to run.
The Queen Elizabeth Stakes has been left with a full field of twelve with leading Sydney trainer Chris Waller to saddle up his five runners, Boban, Sacred Falls, Hawkspur, My Kingdom Of Fife and Royal Descent.
Boban is going into the weight for age grand final not having raced for three weeks after Waller scratched him from the Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick last Saturday because of the heavy track.
While Scared Falls and Royal Descent, the Doncaster Mile quinella as well as fourth placegetter Hawkspur are all backing up after ploughing through the mud last week.
And Waller is also backing up My Kingdom Of Fife who finished tenth behind stablemate Sacred Falls in the famous Randwick Mile.
The two remaining Group 1s are also running full fields with fifteen fillies to contest the $1m Seven News Australian Oaks (2400m) and seventeen to go around in the $1m Schweppes Sydney Cup (3200m).