An exciting list of 64 fillies and mares have nominated for a position in the final field for the major Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) in week 2 of The Championships at Royal Randwick this weekend, including classy Chris Waller-trained stable mates Catkins and Red Tracer.
Arguably one of the most exciting and consistent Australian race horses yet to claim a Group 1 title, Catkins has secured a total of eleven wins and seven places from only 21 race starts to date.
Returning to the track in scintillating form this preparation, the Dubawi mare produced a strong turn of foot to pip Steps In Time on the line and claim the Group 2 Breeders’ Classic (1200m) first-up, before strolling home to win the Group 3 Wiggle Stakes (1400m) on March 8th.
While unable to justifying resounding favouritism and third in the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) on March 22nd, Catkins returned to the winner’s circle and will carry peak form into the 2014 Queen Of The Turf Stakes with a comfortable one and a half length win in the Group 2 Emancipation Stakes (1500m) last time out.
One of the standout performers of the 2013 racing calendar, Red Tracer finished worse than second on just one occasion over ten starts, claiming the Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) and Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m) most notably.
Returning to racing in 2014 with a comfortable two length victory over fellow Queen Of The Turf Stakes nominee A Time For Julia in the Group 2 Millie Fox Stakes (1300m) on March 1st, the Dane Shadow mare was unlucky when blundered early and third in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) on March 15th and finished a disappointing tenth on a rain-soaked track for the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) last time out.
Having been geared towards this weekend’s Group 1, Red Tracer will be looking to go one better than last year’s effort in the Queen Of The Turf Stakes, having finished second behind fellow 2014 nominee Appearance.
Returning to the track in arguably career best form this season, Appearance is yet to be defeated in three starts; finishing well clear of River Lad in the Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) first-up, one and a half lengths ahead of Speediness in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) and pulling clear to win the Canterbury Stakes last time out.
A four-time Group 1 winner, trainer Guy Walter has also included Appearance in nominations for the 2014 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) on day 2 of The Championships, but is likely to accept a position in the Queen Of The Turf.
Unlucky to finish second behind Lucia Valentina in the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) last time out, Solicit will be aiming to continue her strong start to 2014 this weekend, having been included in nominations for the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes.
Contesting an impressive record of four wins and five places from only 11 starts to date, Solicit finished third behind Kirramosa in the Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m) to close out a memorable maiden preparation last spring, returning this season to claim back-to-back victories in the Group 3 The Vanity (1400m) and Group 2 Kewney Stakes (1400m) before experiencing an unlucky night when fourth in the Listed Alexandra Stakes (1600m) prior to the Vinery Stud.
Gypsy Diamond will carry winning form if accepted into the final field for the 2014 Queen Of The Turf Stakes, having broken through for a maiden victory this preparation in the Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes (1600m) on a soggy Randwick track last weekend.
Contesting a largely consistent four race preparation so far, trainer John O’Shea is confident of Gypsy Diamond’s chances in the Queen Of The Turf Stakes, particularly if allocated a favourable barrier.
A final field and barrier draw for the 2014 Queen Of The Turf Stakes is due for release on Tuesday evening.
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2014 Queen Of The Turf Stakes Nominations
|1||A TIME FOR JULIA||Peter G Moody||94|
|4||ANOTHER PRAYER||John P Thompson||68|
|6||ARABIAN GOLD||David Vandyke||88|
|8||BIPPO NO BUNGUS||Neville Parnham||–|
|10||BRACIDAME (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||–|
|12||CHATEAU LAFAITE||Chris Waller||79|
|13||CORONATION SHALLAN||Brett Scott|
|14||COSMIC ENDEAVOUR||Gai Waterhouse||69|
|15||DEAR DEMI||Clarry Conners||–|
|17||DIAMOND DRILLE||Gai Waterhouse||76|
|18||DOUBLE DEE||Jason Warren||–|
|19||ESTONIAN PRINCESS||Scott Aspery||76|
|20||EXPRESS POWER||Kris Lees||84|
|21||FIRE UP FIFI||Robert Heathcote||104|
|22||FIX (NZ)||Ken Kelso||–|
|23||FLORIA (NZ)||Peter G Moody||–|
|24||FOOTY FAN||Wade Slinkard||–|
|25||GRAND DAUGHTER||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||76|
|27||GYPSY DIAMOND||John O’Shea||91|
|28||HANA’S GOAL (JPN)||Kazuhiro Kato||–|
|29||HERA (NZ)||Kris Lees||–|
|30||HOLY COW||Michael Kent||–|
|31||KAYJAY’S JOY||Tony McEvoy||64|
|33||LONGPORT||Danny J Bougoure||102|
|34||LORNA MAY||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||68|
|35||LUCIA VALENTINA (NZ)||Kris Lees|
|36||LUCKY LAGO||John O’Shea||82|
|37||MADE TO ORDER||Chris Waller||74|
|38||MARIANNE (NZ)||Michael Kent||–|
|39||MISS ROSE DE LAGO||Simon A Miller||–|
|40||MISSTRUM||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||–|
|42||PLUCKY BELLE||Peter G Moody||97|
|43||PORCELLANUS (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||–|
|44||PRETTY PINS (NZ)||John P Thompson||89|
|45||REAL SURREAL||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||89|
|46||RECITE (NZ)||John Bary||–|
|47||RED TRACER||Chris Waller||114|
|48||ROYAL DESCENT||Chris Waller||110|
|49||SARAH JESSICA||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||–|
|51||SHARNEE ROSE||Kris Lees||102|
|52||SHE’S A GIRL||Steve Englebrecht||79|
|53||SOLICIT||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||–|
|54||STAR FASHION||David Hayes||–|
|55||STEPS IN TIME||Joseph Pride||108|
|57||SWEET IDEA||Gai Waterhouse||104|
|58||TANGO’S DAUGHTER||Mick Price||–|
|59||TEXT’N HURLEY||Colin Little||–|
|61||WHITE SAGE||John O’Shea||100|
|63||XANADU (NZ)||Ken Kelso||–|
|64||YOU’RE SO GOOD (NZ)||Nigel Blackiston||–|