From the archives:
Queen Elizabeth Stakes Preview & Tips 2020
Track: Soft Weather: Overcast
There are 13 runners for the $2,000,000 Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes, where four of them had there last run in the Doncaster last week and two in the George Ryder on 21 March. The prizemoney of $4 million has been halved in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic. The early favourite is Japanese horse Danon Premium, who comes to Australia with 6 wins from 10 starts and has been runner-up in Group 1 races in Japan at his last 2 starts. Second favourite is Addeybb who won the Ranvet Stakes at his first Australian start with the best last 600m race sectional of the day. Third favourite is Te Akau Shark who was strong winning the Chipping Norton Stakes before running on for 3rd in the George Ryder last start.
Verry Elleegant has improved with each run this preparation and won the Tancred Stakes by over 4 lengths last start. Master Of Wine has won his last four races in a row and all by big margins. Melody Belle already has ten Group 1 wins to her credit and was unlucky when 4th in the Doncaster last outing. Vow And Declare resumed for 3rd in the Australian Cup and will be fitter now. The other 3 runners are all over 25 to 1, including Happy Clapper who always gives his best at Randwick.
Queen Elizabeth Stakes Runner by Runner 2020
1. Danon Premium
This Japanese horse will be having his first Australian start, but we know the Japanese horses tend to be tough. He has six wins in Japan including a Group 1, three Group 2’s and a Group 3. At his last two starts he was runner-up in the G1 Tenno Sho , then runner-up in the G1 Mile Championship. His wins have been from 1600-2000m and he certainly looks a chance here.
I was very impressed with the way this UK visitor won the Ranvet Stakes at his first Australian start. It looked as is Verry Elleegant was going to pass him but he knuckled down and fought hard , while the runner-up romped away with the Tancred at her next start, showing just what a good race it was. He has 8 wins and 4 places from 16 starts and I think he can win.
3. Happy Clapper
At nine-years-old this wonderful gelding seems to be a couple of lengths below his best but can never be underestimated at Randwick. He has ran 3rd in this race twice before – in 2016 and 2018. He resumed for 3rd in the Apollo Stakes but only beat one home in the George Ryder at Rosehill last start. Despite his long price it wouldn’t shock me to see him run a place.
4. Te Akau Shark
After running 3rd in the Cox Plate in the Spring, he resumed with a big win in a Group 1 race in New Zealand, then was impressive coming from well back to win the Chipping Norton Stakes, then kept chasing for 3rd in the George Ryder. He is looking for the extra distance now and should finish in the first half of the field.
5. Vow And Declare
The 2019 Melbourne Cup winner resumed for 3rd in the Australian Cup on 7 March. He hasn’t raced since then but will be fitter now and will run a good race so it would be no surprise to see him in the finish.
One of five runners for Chris Waller, this four-year-old won the Epsom Handicap then the $7.5 million Golden Eagle in the Spring. His four runs this campaign have all seen him finish in the first half of the field but miss being in the trifecta. This is his first try at the distance and my money won’t be on him.
7. Gailo Chop
In 2018 he ran 2nd to Winx in the race but the best days for this nine-year-old are now behind him. He ran last in the Doncaster Prelude at his latest outing but returns to his favourite distance here.
8. Kings Will Dream
He won the Turnbull Stakes over this distance in the Spring so is proven at the 2000m. At his latest start he chased hard when clear to finish 5th in the Doncaster and is a rough hope to run a place.
This UK import has had 3 races in Australia for 8th in the Liverpool City Cup, a win in the Group 2 Ajax Stakes on a heavy track, and 16th in the Doncaster. The distance is a query for him and there are better horses in the race.
10. Master Of Wine
After winning the G3 Sky High Stakes by 3.5 lengths last start, the James Ruse by 3.5 lengths the start before, the City Tatts Cup by 2.3 lengths the start before and a benchmark race by 4 lengths before that you have to include this Hawkes-trained gelding as one of the main chances. This is his toughest test to date but he has been winning so well that he certainly looks up to the challenge.
11. Life Less Ordinary
Currently the rank outsider of the field this eight-year-old gelding finished 3.8 lengths 6th in the Group 3 Neville Sellwood at his latest start. He has had 9 Group 1 starts for a place where he finished 2nd in the 2019 Doomben Cup. I’m not expecting a big form reversal here.
12. Verry Elleegant
This mare is the pick of the Waller entrants and won the Australian Oaks this time last year. She has had four starts this campaign for a 4th in the G2 Apollo Stakes, 2nd in the Chipping Norton, 2nd in the Ranvet to Addeybb then a massive 4.3 length win in the Tancred last start. She has drawn barrier 2 and will be one of the main contenders here. She is currently at a good each-way price.
13. Melody Belle
The rest of the field have 16 Group 1 wins amongst the 12 of them while this mare has won 10 of her own. At her best she is capable of winning this. She ran on strongly for 3rd in the All Star Mile in March, then was a touch unlucky when 1.4 lengths 4th in the Doncaster on the heavy track last week. She is a definite threat.
The following are the top 4 selections from our tipster panel for this years race.
|10 Master Of Wine
|12 Verry Elleegant
|1 Danon Premium