The 2018 Queen Of The Turf Stakes is one of four Group 1 races on day two of The Championships at Randwick on Saaturday. The Group 1 for the fillies and mare, now known as the Coolmore Legacy Stakes, has $1 million in prizemoney on offer and has brought together a huge field of seventeen contenders with the James Cummings trained Alizee the only three year old filly in the field.
The race has been thrown wide open with several of the top fancies drawing wide barriers, including the Ron Quinton trained stablemates Daysee Doom (barrier 17) and Dixie Blossoms (16) as well as Victorian trained mare Spanish Reef (15).
Gai Waterhouse has won the Queen Of The Turf Stakes on eight previous occasions and if she makes it nine, will share the celebrations with co-trainer Adrian Bott.
We will have a look at the field below and see if we can sort out the genuine chances in the large seventeen horse field.
Daysee Doom is one of two runners trainer Ron Quinton will saddle up in the Queen Of The Turf Stakes and will have to overcome the outside barrier in the seventeen horse field if she is to claim her second Group 1 win over the Sydney Autumn Carnival after taking out the Group 1 Coolmore Classic over 1500m at Rosehill two starts back. The mare has raced on the pace at her last three starts which included her latest fifth in the Group 2 Emancipation Stakes over 1500m at Rosehill. Regular rider Andrew Adkins will have no choice but to push forward from the wide gate and hope he finds some luck in the early stages. One of the main chances but the barrier makes it tough.
The Chris Waller trained Foxplay has been struggling to find her best form of late and goes into the Queen Of The Turf Stakes on the back of a fourth in the Emancipation Stakes. Kerrin McEvoy gets the ride again and will be looking to slot into midfield from barrier nine. Foxplay is a winner over the same course and distance as Saturday’s contest and has to be thrown into the exotics.
Daysee Doom’s stablemate Dixie Blossoms was also out of luck at the barrier draw and will jump from gate sixteen with Corey Brown in the saddle again. Dixie Blossoms’ pattern of racing is to settle in the second half of the field and Brown will need plenty of luck in the middle stages and in the straight if the Ron Quinton mare is to figure in the finish. Dixie Blossoms is coming off a last start third in the Emancipation Stakes and has been installed as the favourite with Ladbrokes.com.au.
Prompt Response has found winning form at the right time and gets her chance to claim her first Group 1 victory coming off a last start win in the Group 2 Emancipation Stakes. Blake Shinn finds himself back aboard the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott trained mare, replacing Damien Oliver, and will be able to give her every chance from barrier seven. She has a lot in her favour and is one of the main chances.
Talented Melbourne mare Silent Sedition was a winner at Caulfield two starts back in the Group 3 Mannerism Stakes over 1400m before heading to Rosehill for a third in the Group 1 Coolmore Classic. Craig Williams has plenty of options from barrier ten on Silent Sedition who has been well supported in the betting at Ladbrokes.com.au and late in the week has firmed from $11 to be one of the top fancies at $7.50.
Heavens Above has been out of the winner’s stall for over a year and will have to beat some quality opposition in the Queen Of The Turf Stakes if she is to break her winning drought. The Tim Martin trained Heavens Above is coming off a last start ninth in similar company in the Coolmore Classic.
Victorian trained mare Spanish Reef is racing in peak form with a hat trick of wins in the lead up to her first Group 1 appearance. The Ken Keys trained mare won twice at Flemington before scoring a comfortable win in the Group 2 Sunline Stakes over 1600m at The Valley. Mark Zahra takes the mount again and will have to decide in the early stages if he goes forward or back from barrier fifteen. Has each way claims if she gets some luck in running.
Zanbagh has only beaten one runner home at three starts this campaign and has been listed as one of the outsiders of the Queen Of The Turf Stakes fields after finishing last of seven in the Emancipation Stakes.
The Mick Price trained Oregon’s Day has been knocking on the door with three seconds from her last three starts which included being runner up to Daysee Doom in the Group 1 Coolmore Classic followed by a second to Prompt Response in the Emancipation Stakes. Michael Dee gets the ride again but will be hoping to get plenty of luck from barrier twelve. Has strong each way claims again.
Payroll collected a winning cheque at Sandown and Caulfield before running second in a 1350m Handicap at Doomben last start. Has drawn the rails with Damien Oliver in the saddle but is facing a huge step up in class here.
Abbey Marie has been friendless in the betting at Ladbrokes.com.au but has been freshened up and is back to fillies and mares class after finishing fifth to Gailo Chop in the 1800m Group 2 Peter Young Stakes at Caulfield on February 24. A roughie for the exotics.
Aide Memoire is a New Zealand Group 1 winning mare now under the care of Kris Lees and was only beaten one and a quarter lengths last start when eighth to Daysee Doom in the Coolmore Classic. Will need luck from a wide draw.
Country trained Eckstein has been thereabouts in her visits to the city and has won a Rosehill barrier trial since finishing sixth to Prompt Response in the Emancipation Stakes. Has drifted noticeably in the betting.
Samovare has been racing consistently with seconds at her last three starts and has each way claims again on her last start second to Spanish Reef in the Sunline Stakes. Hong Kong sensation Joao Moreira gets the ride and is a great asset for her chances.
Perfect Rhyme is one of the outsiders of the field and it is hard to see her threatening on her last start fifth in the Group 3 Epona Stakes at Rosehill.
Nettoyer is another facing a huge task in this company after running third in the Epona Stakes.
Alizee is the only three year old filly in the Queen Of The Turf Stakes and therefore gets a 2.5kg weight advantage against the older mares under the weight for age conditions. Alizee is dropping back to the 1600m after finishing fourth over 2000m against her own age in the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes at Rosehill. Trainer James Cummings pitted her against the older mares two starts back in the Group 1 Coolmore Classic over 1500m at Rosehill and even though the Sepoy filly never threatened, she was only beaten two and a quarter lengths in thirteenth position behind Daysee Doom. Worth an each way bet.