First Emergency Awesome Rock will get another chance to claim a Group 1 win after gaining a start in the Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on Saturday following the scratching of Our Ivanhowe.
The Lee and Anthony Freedman trained Our Ivanhowe has been battling a hoof injury he picked up prior to running tenth of ten behind Preferment in the Group 1 $1.5m The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill on March 26.
Lee Freedman took Our Ivanhowe back to Melbourne to treat the problem and was confident he was on top of the situation but the German import was officially scratched from the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at 2.33 pm today with a vet’s certificate.
The withdrawal off Our Ivanhowe opened the way for Awesome Rock to take his place in the field after he was originally listed as the first emergency for the Queen Elizabeth Stakes, one of four Group 1 races on day two of ‘The Championships’.
Father and son training partnership Leon and Troy Corstens are also looking for a change of luck after Awesome Rock was first past the post in the Group 1 $1.5m Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 12, but was subsequently relegated to the runner’s up stall after Hugh Bowman on Preferment was awarded the race on protest.
Awesome Rock will be taking on Preferment again this week in a tough field that includes last year’s Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner Criterion, Ranvet Stakes winner The United States and Group 1 winning mares Lucia Valentina and Rising Romance.
Flemington based Troy Corstens travelled to Sydney with Awesome Rock early in the week and has reported that the four year old has settled into his new surroundings at Randwick in fine order.
“He’s settled in beautifully,” Troy Corstens said.
“He hasn’t put one foot wrong (since the Australian Cup). He’s an extremely sound horse and maintains his fitness very easily.”
Melbourne jockey Stephen Baster has been Awesome Rock’s regular rider throughout the Autumn and has retained the ride again this week.
Baster set the pace on Awesome Rock in the Australian Cup and he might have to push forward again on the four year old who will jump from barrier thirteen if the second emergency Weary doesn’t gain a start.
The prospect of a rain affected track will also go against the Fastnet Rock stallion but Corstens said they will have to accept whatever the conditions are on the day.
“He loves a dry track, so that would have been ideal. But unfortunately there’s nothing you can do about the weather,” Corstens said.
Awesome Rock is rated as one of the outsiders in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes field and is marked as a $34 chance with Ladbrokes.com.au.
The United States heads the market order at $4.20 ahead of Criterion and Preferment who share the second line of betting at $5.50, Hauraki at $7.50 and Lucia Valentina at $8.
Queen Elizabeth Stakes market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4.20 The United States, $5.50 Preferment, Criterion, $7.50 Hauraki, $8 Lucia Valentina, $12 Happy Clapper, $17 It’s Somewhat, $21 Rising Romance, $26 Dibayani, $31 Mongolian Khan, $34 Awesome Rock, $51 Fenway, Happy Trails, $91 Leebaz, $101 Weary.