Connections of The United States look certain to pay a late entry fee to gain a start in the Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 9, the second day of ‘The Championships’.
The United States wasn’t among the original entries for the Queen Elizabeth Stakes but part owner Nick Williams said connections are willing to pay the $66,000 late entry fee if the Irish import pleases in his next couple of track work sessions.
“He’s still got a couple of pieces of work to get through but assuming that goes smoothly he’ll take his place in the field,” Williams told Sky Sports Radio.
“We were kicking ourselves because we hadn’t put this horse in the Queen Elizabeth. We didn’t think there was any late entry so that was why the plan was for the horse to go to the paddock.”
The United States backed up after running second to He Or She in the Group 2 $200,000 Incognitus Blamey Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on March 12 to win the Group 1 $700,000 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill a week later.
Williams had been content to send the Galileo six year old to the paddock before preparing him for a Cox Plate campaign in the Spring but changed his mind when he realised he could pay a late entry fee to get into the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
The United States has proven to be very versatile, having won on wet and dry tracks and Williams said the 2000m of the Queen Elizabeth Stakes looks his ideal distance.
“I don’t think it matters whether the ground is hard or soft, he goes on either,” Williams said.
“He’s got a great turn of foot which really makes him adaptable to the Australian style of racing.
“He doesn’t look like an out and out stayer. He’s very strong. That makes him adaptable over a series of distances.
“I must say I’d say 2000 metres is his ideal distance.”
The Ranvet Stakes was The United States’ third win on Australian soil after having won a 1519m Handicap at Moonee Valley in August last year and then beat subsequent Melbourne Cup winner Prince Of Penzance in the Group 2 $250,000 Melbourne Signage Concepts Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m) at Moonee Valley during the 2015 Melbourne Spring Carnival.
The United States then went around in the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington but Williams is prepared to forget the run after finishing fourteenth to Prince Of Penzance when ridden by Hong Kong’s leading jockey Joao Moreira.
“If you look on paper at his Melbourne Cup run you’d say he was disappointing,” Williams said.
“They talk about Joao Moreira being the best jockey in the world, well unfortunately we got him on an off day.
“He rode a dreadful race unfortunately on the horse in that race. I think you can put a line through him that day and apart from that his form is faultless.”
The United States has been included in some Queen Elizabeth Stakes markets at around the $7 and $8 mark.
The Chris Waller trained Winx dominates the betting at $1.60 while stablemates Preferment at $8 and Kermadec at $11 are also well up in the market order ahead of Criterion and Hauraki at $13.
Other Queen Elizabeth Stakes betting sees Tarzino at $15, Lucia Valentino at $17, and Azkadellia, Bow Creek, First Seal, It’s Somewhat and Rising Romance at $26.