A talented and capacity field of fourteen runners and two emergencies has been confirmed for Saturday’s featured 2016 Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick; highlighted by the inclusion of several previous winners at the highest level of racing.
Criterion charged home to win the 2015 edition of the Queen Elizabeth Stakes and will leave from barrier 2 in his title defence on Saturday, with in-form hoop Tommy Berry in the saddle.
Capping a breakthrough racing season during the 2014 Autumn Carnival with consecutive wins in the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) and Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m).
Resuming in 2015 in career-best form, the Sebring entire finished third in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) first-up and placed second in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) leading into his Queen Elizabeth Stakes triumph.
Returning from a strong trip abroad for success in the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) in spring, Criterion ran second in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) before placing an impressive third in the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m).
Criterion is sure to have taken plenty of benefit from two runs this time but will have to arrive at the races in peak order to overcome the likes of The United States, Preferment and Hauraki in the 2016 Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
The United States has fast stamped himself as one to watch for the Macedon Lodge operation through the last 12 months and will be tough to beat in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
Winning the Group 2 Moonee Valley Cup (2500m) most notably in spring, The United States resumed this time for fifth in the Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) on February 27th.
Progressed to a close second in the Group 2 Blamey Stakes (1600m) on March 12th, the Galileo entire produced a particularly strong turn of foot to win the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) last time out.
Kerrin McEvoy retains the ride on the six-year-old in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes, who will leave from the ideal barrier 8.
A multiple Group 1 winner, Preferment has arguably returned to racing in career-best form this year and is sure to be boosted by leading hoop Hugh Bowman in the 2016 Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
Winning the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) most notably through a busy Spring Carnival campaign, the Zabeel entire resumed this time for fourth in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) before taking out each of the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) and Group 1 The BMW (2400m) most recently.
Hauraki has fast stamped himself as one to watch for Godolphin, but the gelding will likely require luck in running after drawing barrier 14.
Savaging the line for third in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) first-up, the son of Reset progressed to third in the Chipping Norton Stakes before finishing a close second in the Ranvet Stakes last time.
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2016 Queen Elizabeth Stakes Final Field and Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||5x61239x73||CRITERION (NZ)||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Tommy Berry||2||59kg||115|
|2||011907×411||PREFERMENT (NZ)||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||5||59kg||115|
|3||1x7431x059||MONGOLIAN KHAN||Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman||Opie Bosson||9||59kg||114|
|4||7x9230x550||OUR IVANHOWE (GER)||Lee & Anthony Freedman||Brett Prebble||4||59kg||112|
|5||122610×521||THE UNITED STATES (IRE)||Robert Hickmott||Kerrin McEvoy||8||59kg||110|
|6||050208×077||HAPPY TRAILS||Paul Beshara||Dwayne Dunn||3||59kg||109|
|7||x87x23x611||IT’S SOMEWHAT (USA)||John O’Shea||Sam Clipperton||11||59kg||109|
|8||0x3399x424||DIBAYANI (IRE)||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Nicholas Hall||13||59kg||107|
|9||x5x111x452||HAPPY CLAPPER||Patrick Webster||Brenton Avdulla||1||59kg||107|
|10||2x0728x332||HAURAKI||John O’Shea||James McDonald||14||59kg||107|
|11||x09936x561||LEEBAZ (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||–||10||59kg||107|
|12||6x648915x4||LUCIA VALENTINA (NZ)||Kris Lees||Damien Oliver||12||57kg||110|
|13||20027×0635||RISING ROMANCE (NZ)||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Damian Lane||7||57kg||109|
|14||x9102x9244||FENWAY||Lee & Shannon Hope||Blake Shinn||16||57kg||107|
|15e||x30721x042||AWESOME ROCK||Leon & Troy Corstens||Stephen Baster||15||59kg||104|
|16e||249000×986||WEARY (FR)||Chris Waller||Craig Williams||6||59kg||102|