The 2017 Queen Elizabeth Stakes field has been released and star mare Winx will take on eight rivals in the Group 1 event at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Winx has dominated Australian racing for the past 18 months and she will be close to an unbackable favourite to add another Group 1 victory to her glittering resume at Royal Randwick this weekend.
The daughter of Street Cry started her 2017 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival campaign with a comfortable win in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on February 13 and scored another Group 1 win in the Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m).
Winx was a slight drifter ahead of the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Royal Randwick on March 18, but she put a gap on the likes of Le Romain and Chautauqua to record one of the most impressive wins of her racing career.
Hartnell has been the perennial bridesmaid behind Winx over the past 12 months and he will once again have the chance to chase his rivals home in the 2017 Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
The Godolphin import started his Autumn campaign with a second place finish in the Apollo Stakes and he flopped in the Chipping Norton Stakes, but he returned to a semblance of his best form in the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m).
Another horse that will come out of the Ranvet Stakes is The United States.
The United States has been racing well without winning this preparation and he returns to Royal Randwick for the first time since he finished second behind Lucia Valentina in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes last year.
The other imported stayer that has been included in the 2017 Queen Elizabeth Stakes field is Exospheric.
Exospheric is yet to record a race win in Australia, but he heads into the Queen Elizabeth Stakes on the back off third place finishes in both the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) and Group 1 The BMW (2400m).
The Doncaster Mile is always a crucial lead-up to the Queen Elizabeth Stakes and placegetters Happy Clapper and Sense Of Occasion are both set to back-up this weekend.
Happy Clapper finished a narrow second behind It’s Somewhat in the Doncaster Mile and was in the placings in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes 12 months ago, while Sense Of Occasion produced a career best performance in the Doncaster Mile last weekend.
The 2017 Queen Elizabeth Stakes field is rounded out by import Harlem, Australian Bloodstock-owned Singing and Anthony Cummings-trained No Doubt.