15 fillies and mares have been confirmed in the final field for Saturday’s Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) at Randwick Racecourse, highlighted by the inclusion of several previous winners at the highest level of racing.
Catkins is yet to break through for a maiden victory at the highest level but has returned to racing in great condition this time and will be difficult to beat in the 2015 Queen Of The Turf Stakes.
Successfully defending her Group 2 Breeders’ Classic (1200m) crown first-up this time, the daughter of Dubawi progressed to an impressive win in the Group 2 Millie Fox Stakes (1300m) before running an agonizingly-close second to fellow Queen Of The Turf Stakes acceptor Cosmic Endeavour in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m).
Having returned to the winner’s circle in the Group 2 Emancipation Stakes (1500m) a fortnight ago, Catkins has been confirmed to be partnered by leading Hong Kong-based hoop Joao Moreira and will leave from barrier 10.
Cosmic Endeavour returned to racing in good form this time in but appears to have dropped condition in her two most recent runs.
Placing fourth in the Group 3 Triscay Stakes (1200m) and second in the Group 3 Guy Walter Stakes (1400m) leading into her Canterbury Stakes triumph, the Northern Meteor mare has placed fourteenth in each of the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) and Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) most recently.
Noble Protector is yet to taste anything but success this time in and will be very hard to beat in the Queen Of The Turf Stakes from gate 7.
Beginning her career aboard in Britain before transferring to the care of Robert Smerdon prior to the Spring Carnival, Noble Protector charged home to win the Group 3 Schweppervescence Trophy (1600m) by close to five lengths first-up before repeating the dose in the Group 2 Sunline Stakes (1600m) two weeks ago.
Confirmed to be partnered by leading jockey Craig Williams, the Haafhd mare will carry 57kgs on Saturday.
Three-year-old First Seal has been unlucky not to post a second Group 1 victory this year but is arguably offered her best chance of success in the Queen Of The Turf Stakes from barrier 8 and will just 54.5kgs.
The winner of the Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m) in spring, First Seal returned for a close second in the Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) first-up this time before returning to the top of the podium with a commanding display in the Group 2 Surround Stakes (1400m).
Having since placed second in both the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) and Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m), the Fastnet Rock filly is sure to respond favourably to a return to her pet distance of a mile and is a leading chance for success in the Queen Of The Turf Stakes.
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2015 Queen Of The Turf Stakes Final Field and Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||3111×42100||COSMIC ENDEAVOUR||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry||4||57kg||112|
|2||x1233x1121||CATKINS||Chris Waller||Joao Moreira||10||57kg||110|
|3||43×2474191||DIADEME (NZ)||Murray Baker||Ryan Moore||15||57kg||106|
|4||1x879x8030||DIAMOND DRILLE||Gai Waterhouse||Blake Shinn||11||57kg||106|
|5||684071×256||BONARIA||Pat Hyland||Hugh Bowman||1||57kg||104|
|6||12x1324x11||NOBLE PROTECTOR (GB)||Robert Smerdon||Craig Williams||7||57kg||104|
|7||47×2110232||SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (NZ)||Murray Baker||Opie Bosson||13||57kg||101|
|8||x50950x343||GYPSY DIAMOND||Peter & Paul Snowden||Sam Clipperton||12||57kg||97|
|9||50x2123x62||AMANPOUR||Gai Waterhouse||Kerrin McEvoy||3||57kg||94|
|10||80x01x8058||HERA (NZ)||Kris Lees||Brenton Avdulla||14||57kg||93|
|11||1x4676x734||INTIMATE MOMENT (NZ)||Chris Waller||Zac Purton||2||57kg||89|
|12||259x25x143||TELEPATHIC (NZ)||Chris Waller||Glen Boss||5||57kg||87|
|13||7114×55725||JUST A BLUR||Barbara Joseph & Paul Jones||Jason Collett||6||57kg||76|
|14||12112×2122||FIRST SEAL||John P Thompson||James McDonald||8||54.5kg||107|
|15||x3221x9446||AMICUS||Chris Waller||Damien Oliver||9||54.5kg||95|