Queen Elizabeth Stakes - 2000m, Randwick R8
The Queen Elizabeth has been set up to be the Cox Plate of the autumn, where Australia’s best middle distance horses test themselves against each other, and tackle any international raider that wants to take us on too.
Australia’s best is clearly Anamoe, who has become a winning machine and has remarkably won at least one Group 1 in every preparation he’s had, from the age of two, three and now at four. He’s won seven out of eight races this season, six of them at Group 1 WFA including the Cox Plate.
As a three-year-old Anamoe was nosed out of the Cox Plate in a result that many say should have been reversed on protest. He’s a champion whichever way we look at it, and is a cut above the local horses.
Now he’ll get tested against two worthy international challengers.
Dubai Honour shares the head of the market with Anaome, at $2.50. Punters and bookies have decided that this is essentially a match race.
Dubai Honour bolted in the Ranvet Stakes three weeks ago, in his first start in Australia. He beat the likes of Montefilia, Mo’unga and others by a widening four and a half lengths, in what was a more visually impressive performance than anything Anamoe has produced against those same horses. He looked every bit the powerhouse.
The worrying thing for us Aussies, was that this horse hadn’t won for nigh on 18 months, and never previously at Group 1 level in his international career which has taken in Europe, Dubai and Hong Kong.
Anamoe and Dubai Honour have drawn alongside each other. You’d think the latter will go more forward and try and control the race, while the former will have his back and try to have last crack. May the best horse win.
Unicorn Lion is a third tier Japanese horse that doesn’t have the credentials of a Lys Gracieux, the Japan mare who took out the 2019 Cox Plate in stunning fashion. He’s been around for a few years without threatening at Group 1 level, popping up occasionally for a nice win in lower black type grade.
Still, the Japanese horses tend to be competitive wherever they go, and Unicorn Lion’s win 2000m win back in September was one of a good horse, dominating from the front. He’s an unknown on wet ground, if that’s what we strike, but he should give them something to catch.
Cascadian has never met his stablemate Anamoe, with Godolphin always plotting a course around him. He’s honest, but it’s hard to see him measuring up to this class, but a heavy track brings him into it.
Mo’unga has met Anamoe six times and never finished in front of him, plus got pantsed by Dubai Honour last start. Montefilia did finish in front of Anamoe in the Queen Elizabeth last year, but that was as bottomless as tracks get, and she also fell foul of Dubai Honour last time out.
Numerian and Zeyrek are in great form and love wet tracks, but it would take a bog and some excellent mud-running from them to beat all of this opposition. They could certainly fill a hole in the right circumstances though. The rest of the field looks to be making up the numbers.
Unicorn Lion will ensure a genuine tempo, with Numerian and Mo’unga likely to push forward too. Dubai Honour will look for the one-one, and Anamoe on his back, while the rest sort themselves out.
Selections: 1.Dubai Honour 2.Anamoe 3.Unicorn Lion 4.Cascadian
* Odds Correct At Time Of Posting. Check Playup Website For Latest Odds