An exciting field of 10 fillies and mares have been confirmed to line up for the major Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) on day two of The Championships at Royal Randwick this weekend.
Figuring as the only trainer to saddle more than one entrant in the 2014 Queen Of The Turf Stakes, Chris Waller has accepted positions in the final field for in-form stable mates Red Tracer and Catkins.
One of the standout performers of the 2013 Australian racing calendar, Red Tracer scored an impressive five wins and four seconds from ten race starts, including both the Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) and Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m).
Returning to the track in typically scintillating form this season, the Dane Shadow mare strolled away to win the Group 2 Mille Fox Stakes (1300m) first-up before finishing third in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) on March 1st.
While disappointing when blocked for a run and tenth in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) last time out, Waller is confident Red Tracer will return to blistering form this weekend, particularly after drawing the central barrier 6.
Arguably one of the strongest and most consistent Australian racehorses yet to secure a Group 1 crown, Catkins will be offered perhaps her best chance of success this time in, having drawn the ideal inside barrier for the 2014 Queen Of The Turf Stakes.
Amassing an impressive total of eleven wins and seven places from only 21 race starts, the Dubawi mare strolled home to win the Group 2 Breeders’ Classic (1200m) first-up this season before repeating the dose in the Group 3 Wiggle Stakes (1400m) on March 8th.
Unable to justify favouritism when third in the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) on March 22nd, Catkins dominated the running of the Group 2 Emancipation Stakes (1500m) last time out, jogging home to finish nearly two lengths ahead of fellow Queen Of The Turf Stakes acceptor Sharnee Rose and complete an ideal charge towards this weekend’s major campaign target.
Contesting precisely the same four race path as Catkins this time in, Sharnee Rose finished fourth in the Breeders’ Classic first-up before laying down a strong challenge for second in the Wiggle Stakes.
Unable to match the late pace of her rivals and seventh in the Coolmore Classic, the Nadeem mare returned to strong form with an impressive turn of foot to finish second in the Emancipation Stakes last time out.
Also yet to claim a win at the highest level of racing, Sharnee Rose will be offered a good run from barrier 5 this weekend and will be partnered by in-form jockey Brenton Avdulla.
Also included in the final field for the 2014 Queen Of The Turf Stakes is four time Group 1 champion Streama (barrier 4).
Confirmed to retire and step into a breeding career come spring, trainer Guy Walter has confirmed the Queen Of The Turf Stakes as the last appearance in Sydney for Streama, with a swan song likely to come via the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) during the Brisbane Winter Carnival.
Having so-far been unable to hit peak condition, the Stratum mare was unlucky when blocked for a run and fifth in the Breeders’ Classic first-up before finishing a still competitive sixth in both the Canterbury Stakes and George Ryder Stakes.
Unable to handle the soft track and finished well off the pace in 17th in the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m), Streama is still a chance to be removed from the final field, if greater Sydney’s inclement weather does not pass.
Unlucky to finish second in the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) last time out, Solicit (barrier 7) has also been confirmed in the final field for the 2014 Queen Of The Turf Stakes, and will be joined by Viadana (barrier 3), Bonaria (barrier 8), Diamond Drille (barrier 2), Recite (barrier 9) and Gypsy Diamond (barrier 10).
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2014 Queen Of The Turf Stakes Final Field
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||11x211x130||RED TRACER||Chris Waller||–||6||57kg||115|
|2||2x212x5660||STREAMA||Guy Walter||Blake Shinn||4||57kg||112|
|4||8×12241411||VIADANA (NZ)||Lance Noble||Craig Williams||3||57kg||109|
|5||60114×4272||SHARNEE ROSE||Kris Lees||Brenton Avdulla||5||57kg||104|
|6||40204×3110||BONARIA||Pat Hyland||Michael Rodd||8||57kg||103|
|7||16121×5814||DIAMOND DRILLE||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry||2||57kg||90|
|8||1x24x24112||RECITE (NZ)||John Bary||Glen Boss||9||54.5kg||102|
|9||13233×1142||SOLICIT||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||Chad Schofield||7||54.5kg||99|
|10||76154×2491||GYPSY DIAMOND||John O’Shea||James McDonald||10||54.5kg||96|