Queen Elizabeth II Stakes: Back The Bear
One of the most prestigious group-1 races off the entire calendar, the QEII has been won by some of the stars of the equine world, including Frankel, Ravens Pass, George Washington, Dubai Millennium and Selkirk, to name but a few.
The last 10 renewals has been mainly dominated by 3-year-olds (7 wins), with one 4-year-old winner, and two 5-year-old winners, though 5-year-olds had a golden spell of 4 winners in 5 years between 2003-2007.
Aiden O’Brien has trained 3 of the last 9 winners, whilst Frankie Dettori is the only jockey to have ridden 2 winners in that time.
This year’s renewal has 9 runners declared to go to post, but it’s a fascinating mix of 3-year-olds and older horses.
Bids to become the first ever winning 6-year-old but, though he’s a credit to connections, he’s been comfortably beaten by a couple of his more high-profile opponents in recent runs.
Impressive winner of his last 7 races, never really looking like getting beaten in any of those races. Should have no problems with the ground, has proved that travelling from his native France is no problem, and should prove very hard to beat, Trainer also in great form in France recently with 3 winners and 3 places from his last 6 runners. A 5-year-old.
Top Notch Tonto 100/1
Done the blog one big favour already this year but, despite Brian Ellison and Silvestre De Souza teaming-up for lots of success in 2015, and the fact he’ll love the ground, he’s more of a group-3 horse than a group-1 horse.
Should relish the ground, but both his best runs have been at Newmarket.
Elm Park 22/1
Connections have been very patient in waiting for soft ground after he disappointed in the Derby and, as he’s the freshest and least exposed of the runners, he could reward connections with a big run.
Different class to most of the opponents he’s faced this year, but connections have avoided this type of ground with their potential star stallion, and he might not run.
This is set to be the 5-year-old filly’s last race, but even her best form leaves her something to find, and she’s not been in that sort of form all season. Frankie Dettori rides.
Kodi Bear 9/1
Delivered on the promise of his 2-year-old career by climbing up the ladder with listed, group-3, and group-2 wins this year. The form of his last run looked particularly solid as he beat Gabrial by further than Solow had done earlier in the season, and the 3rd and 4th have finished 1st and 2nd in a group-2 since. Looks an interesting each-way alternative to the favourite.
Only Gleneagles and the high-class mare Esoterique have finished in front of him this year, but connections have avoided softish ground with him so far.
Solow should also prove very hard to beat. However, Kodi Bear has done nothing but improve and impress all season – and he might just be good enough to continue the good run of 3-year-olds in the race, and is an each-way price.
Kodi Bear each-way @ 9/1 (Paddy Power) 1/5 odds 3 places