Early Insight - Queen Elizabeth Stakes
Published: 15 Apr 2014
The Queen Elizabeth stakes looms as a contest that will dominate the Autumn racing calendar in years to come. A total of $2.4 million will be deposited in the bank accounts of wining connections, a windfall that will bring the best from far and wide in future years. This year we have the cream of the Australian and New Zealand thoroughbreds to pick through and try and find a winner. So what is going to make the difference in what looks like a pretty even bunch?
The Race Guide provides all the key factors for each contender - available from this Thursday.
Silent Achiever (barrier 7) - On form alone it is hard to go past Silent Achiever. She has won both the Ranvet and BMW in fine style, dominating others that tower over her in the yard. She is more robust than previous campaigns, so the failures towards the end of recent preparations should probably be ignored. Photo above: mounting yard before the BMW 5th April, 2014.
2. Power and Strength
Carlton House (barrier 5) - The other contenders mentioned on this page are mares, and two stallions that aren't the most dominant types. Carlton House on the other hand is a strapping horse with massive strength through his forequarter. He has the class and the ability to control this race and power away in the straight. Photo above: mounting yard before the Ranvet Stakes 22nd March, 2014.
3. Wet Conditions
Sacred Falls (barrier 12) - He proved last week that when the surface is muddy he will fight harder than most. When Zac Purton produced him from the pack in the Doncaster, the final surge to the line down the straight was incredible. Based on that performance, this race is definitely not out of reach, if the conditions are right. Photo above: returning to scale after the Doncaster 12th April, 2014
It's A Dundeel (barrier 1) - He was beaten fair and square in the BMW, but the big expanses of the Randwick track just could be enough for It's A Dundeel to perform in what has always been his grand final. His compact size and ability to track into a race before a strong final surge sets him up perfectly for the 2000m at Royal Randwick. Photo above: mounting yard before the BMW 5th April, 2014.
Royal Descent (barrier 11) - In Weight For Age contests the tempo can slow during periods of the race and the Queen Elizabeth looks no different, with only Carlton House seemingly capable of driving the speed of the race. Royal Descent has the 'golden ticket' of a burst of speed that can put her into a winning position very quickly. She is of a similar build to the kiwi mare, just perhaps a touch more dynamic. Photo above: mounting yard before the Coolmore Classic on 22nd March, 2014
Silent Achiever is looking as well as she ever has and will go close, while Royal Descent looks to be value in the market. She may just get a trail up behind the favourites in the straight and sprint past.
Don't dismiss the others though and keep an eye on conditions on race day @TheRaceGuide on Twitter.