Following the sudden retirement of hopeful chance Sharnee Rose after suffering a severe pastern injury in preparations this week, the 2014 Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) will now feature just nine runners on day 2 of the inaugural The Championships at Royal Randwick this weekend.
Having returned to the track in typically strong form this preparation, classy mare Catkins has opened as and maintained status as outright favourite for success in betting markets for the 2014 Queen Of The Turf Stakes at a short quote of $2.80, ahead of stable mate Red Tracer ($4), Solicit ($7) and market mover Gypsy Diamond; currently offered $6.50 odds.
Will Catkins break-through for a maiden Group 1 victory in the 2014 Queen Of The Turf Stakes, or will one of her classy opponents find the line in the clear?
Red Tracer ($4)
One of the standout performers of the 2013 Australian racing calendar, Red Tracer has secured an impressive total of 15 wins and 13 places from her 35 career starts, winning both the Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) and Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m) most notably last year. Returning to the track in competitive form this time in, the Dane Shadow mare strolled home to win the Group 2 Millie Fox Stakes (1300m) first-up before placing a competitive third in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) on March 15th. While unable to make an impact when 10th in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) last time out, trainer Chris Waller is confident Red Tracer is in perfect starting position in barrier 6 and will be partnered by leading jockey Nash Rawiller.
Quite often playing second fiddle to Red Tracer, Catkins once again appears likely to finish in the red of her classy stable mate in the 2014 Queen Of The Turf Stakes, solely on account of the heavy conditions expected on the Randwick course this weekend. Unlucky not to claim a Group 1 title over her 2013 preparation, the Dubawi mare is yet to finish outside the places in four starts this preparation, winning the Group 2 Breeders’ Classic (1200m) and Group 3 Wiggle Stakes (1400m) back-to-back before running a strong third in the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) on March 22nd. Returning to the winner’s circle with a commanding performance in the Group 2 Emancipation Stakes (1500m) last time out, Catkins will be given every opportunity to perform this weekend from the ideal barrier 1 and with regular partner Hugh Bowman in the saddle.
Likely to be the final appearance for Group 1 champion Streama in Sydney before retiring into a breeding career in Spring, the Stratum mare offers punters sensational value for a win in Queen Of The Turf Stakes betting markets at $13 odds, or $3.50 for a place. A standout performer over the 2013 spring, Streama claimed the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) on September 21st before finishing an unlucky second to star miler Boban in the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) on October fifth. While yet to reach peak condition over four race starts this time in, trainer Guy Walter is confident Streama has the class to go out with a bang in the 2014 Queen Of The Turf Stakes.
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