Late entry The United States heads the betting for the Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on day two of ‘The Championships’ on Saturday.
The Robert Hickmott trained The United States was installed the $4.20 favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au for the Queen Elizabeth Stakes when the final field was released on Tuesday without super mare Winx’s name in the lineup.
Connections of the Irish import decided to pay the $66,000 late entry after he scored an emphatic win over Hauraki and Criterion in the Group 1 $700,000 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on March 19.
At the barrier draw on Tuesday afternoon, The United States came up with gate eight in the fourteen horse field plus two emergencies and looks likely to jump from seven with the second emergency Weary drawing inside him.
Jockey Kerrin McEvoy rode The United States to victory in the Ranvet Stakes and has retained the ride on Saturday.
The David Hayes and Tom Dabernig trained Criterion is peaking at the right time and will get every chance to win back to back Queen Elizabeth Stakes after drawing barrier two.
Tommy Berry has picked up the ride on the noted wet tracker, replacing the injured Michael Walker, and the five year old will be right at home on the rain affected Randwick track which was rated a Heavy 8 on Wednesday morning.
The Sydney forecast leading up to the weekend is for some more showers so Criterion looks like getting conditions to suit and is well in the market at $7.
The Hayes – Dabernig Team will also saddle up Dibayani ($31), barrier thirteen, and Rising Romance ($26), barrier seven.
With the non-acceptance off Winx, Hugh Bowman has hopped on her stablemate Preferment who is on the second line of betting at $5.
The Chris Waller trained Preferment has drawn nicely at barrier five and is on a Group 1 hat trick after winning the $1.5m Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 12 and the $1.5m The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill on March 26.
Ranvet Stakes runner up Hauraki is next in the market order at $6.50 after drawing awkwardly at barrier fourteen.
James McDonald will stick with the John O’Shea trained Hauraki while Sam Clipperton takes the mount on stablemate It’s Somewhat ($17) who came up with gate eleven.
German import Our Ivanhowe will also appreciate the anticipated soft conditions for the Queen Elizabeth Stakes and has drawn in close at barrier four.
Our Ivanhowe’s price has firmed up since the final acceptances from $26 to $17 after co-trainer Lee Freedman declared the six year old fully fit after recovering from a minor hoof injury leading into The BMW.
Freedman reported to Racing New South Wales Stewards that that the tenderness to the sole of the off fore hoof had been treated and had resolved and that he would be reapplying glue on shoes for the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
Queen Elizabeth Stakes market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4.20 The United States, $5 Preferment, $6.50 Hauraki, $7 Criterion, $7.50 Lucia Valentina, $13 Happy Clapper, $17 Our Ivanhowe, It’s Somewhat, $26 Mongolian Khan, Rising Romance,$31 Dibayani, $51 Happy Trails, Fenway, Awesome Rock, $101 Leebaz, $126 Weary.