Chris Waller is set to have an extremely strong hand in the 2014 Queen Elizabeth Stakes field; with the leading Sydney trainer confirming that he will have five runners in the $4 million Group 1 event at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Headlining the five Waller-trained chances in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes is Doncaster Mile winner Sacred Falls, who will be stepping up to 2000 metres for the first time since he finished second behind It’s A Dundeel in the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas during the 2013 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
Sacred Falls came from the back of the field to record his second straight win in the Doncaster Mile on Saturday and Waller believes that the son of O’Reilly has reached peak fitness ahead of the Queen Elizabeth Stakes this weekend, but admits that the tough entire is unproven over the 2000 metres trip.
“It’s a big query, but he’s rock-hard fit and I think there’s improvement from yesterday,” Waller told TVN.
Royal Descent was run down by Sacred Falls in the shadows of the posts in the Doncaster Mile and will have the chance to turn-the-tables on her stablemate in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes on Saturday.
The Redoute’s Choice mare was one of the best backed runners in the lead-up to the Group 1 event and she overcame a tough run to record her third placing at Group 1 level, but is still chasing her first win since she cantered home to win the Australian Oaks (2400m) last year.
Hawkspur stormed home late to finish fourth in the Doncaster Mile, in a performance that indicates he will relish the step back up to 2000 metres in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes this weekend.
The Purrealist gelding has been a consistent performer at Group 1 level during the 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival and has received betting support to score his first win at the highest level of racing since he took out the Queensland Derby (2400m) last year.
Also backing-up from the Doncaster Mile will be veteran gelding My Kingdom Of Fife, who returned to a semblance of his best form with a sound tenth place finish on Saturday.
My Kingdom Of Fife won the 2011 edition of the Queen Elizabeth Stakes in just his second start in Australia and has the chance to become the first horse to win the race twice in non-consecutive years since Intergaze in 1999.
Rounding out Waller’s runners in the 2014 Queen Elizabeth Stakes field is triple Group 1 winner Boban.
Boban was scratched from the Doncaster Mile last weekend, due to concerns about the state of the track, and he will be stepping up to 2000 metres for the first time in his racing career; with Waller keen to see whether it is worth setting the Bernardini gelding for the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) during the spring.
Waller is chasing his third win in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes after previously winning the race with My Kingdom Of Fife (2011) and Reliable Man (2013).