The Qipco Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (Saturday, 3.10pm) is one of England’s most prestigious Group-1 Races, and it now forms part of British Champions Day. It is run over Ascot’s straight mile, and is open to horses aged 3 and older, with the Classic Generation winning 7 of the last 10 renewals.
Trainer Aidan O’Brien has trained 3 winners in the last 10 years, whilst Godolphin have owned two winners. Frankie Dettori is the only jockey to have ridden 2 winners in the same period.
13 Runners are set to go to post for the 2016 The Qipco Queen Elizabeth II Stakes.
Group-2 winner, but Group-1s have proved a step too far for him so far. Also ideally suited by 7-furlongs and soft ground.
Used as a pacemaker by Godolphin on his last 2 runs, and it looks likely he’ll play the same role for Ribchester.
Breton Rock 100/1
Admirable multiple Group-2 winner, but 7 furlongs and soft ground is what he wants, and he’s yet to win at a mile.
Promising Group-3 winner on last start, and has potential improvement to come. However, he will have to find that improvement to take a hand, and his last two wins have both come on soft ground.
Lightning Spear 11/1
Been placed in a Group-1 and a Group-2 at Ascot, but was put in his place in the Sussex Stakes by a couple of these.
Mitchum Swagger 50/1
Beaten by Hathal last time, and he looks too exposed to suddenly find the improvement needed to win this.
This season’s Irish 2,000 Guineas winner beat Galileo Gold at the Curragh, however it may have been that the runner-up wasn’t at his best that day, as Awtaad has been behind him twice since. Did come back to form in Group-2 last time, and straight mile may suit him better here, but get the feeling he’ll find 2 or 3 too good.
Galileo Gold 6/1
Done connections proud with 2,000 Guineas and St James Palace wins, but must put a poor performance behind Ribchester in France behind him. Won the Guineas over a straight-mile, and impossible to rule out, though old foe Ribchester looks the more progressive of the two.
Hit It A Bomb 25/1
Won at the Breeders Cup last year, but has been disappointing in two races this season. Potential for improvement after just 5 runs, though its hardly surprising that Ryan Moore prefers Minding.
Only third in the Guineas behind Galileo Gold, but always looked the type to improve with racing. Oozed class in winning the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot, and was unlucky in the Sussex Stakes, before looking like a potential world-beater in French Group-1. Looks sure to relish this straight mile, and connections have entered a pacemaker to try and ensure preferred strong pace.
Stormy Antarctic 50/1
Form of his Craven Stakes win hasn’t worked out, and finished well behind Ribchester when last seen.
Jet Setting 25/1
Beat Minding in the Irish 1,000 Guineas, and bounced back to form with a scintillating performance in a Group-3 last time. However, probably needs soft/heavy ground to be seen at her best.
Won 2 classics, and her last 8 races have produced 6 Group-1 wins. Her two defeats in that period came on heavy ground in the Irish 1,000 Guineas, and when beaten by Almansor and Found in the Irish Champion Stakes. Has every chance if her long season hasn’t caught up with her.
Qipco Queen Elizabeth II Stakes Recommendation
As 3-year-olds have such a great record, and there’s no star older horse in the field, this is likely to go to either Minding, Galileo Gold or Ribchester, with preference for Ribchester at 11/4. His trainer has stated that this has been his big target all season, the straight mile should be ideal, and connections are looking to make sure it is run at a strong pace having entered pacemaker Barchan.
Ribchester is currently 11/4 with Black Type
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