THE QUEEN ELIZABETH STAKES
2000m, $2 million, weight-for-age
* First run in 1954 and won by Blue Ocean
* The legendary Tulloch won the race three times – 1958, 1960 and 1961
* Other winners include: Gay Icarus (1971), Ming Dynasty (1978), Rough Habit (1992), Veandercross (1993), Jeune (1995), Doriemus (1996), Might And Power (1998), Lonhro (2003), Grand Armee (2004-05), It’s A Dundeel (2014) Criterion (2015) and Winx (2017, 2018 and 2019)
* The Queen Elizabeth has become as famous for two defeats as for its winners. In 1997 Intergaze spoiled the farewell party of champion Octagonal and seven years later Grand Armee did the same to Octagonal’s most famous son, Lonhro
* Intergaze’s defeat of Octagonal was the last time a three-year-old won the race
* Winx ensured the race will have a special place in the Australian turf by winning her farewell tothe track in last year’s edition.
* Legendary trainer Tommy Smith holds the record for most wins with 11
* The purse for this year’s race has been halved to $2 million as the racing industry tries to stay afloat during the coronavirus
* In Winx’s absence, the odds are cramped about an international win this year. Japan’s Danon Premium and the English-trained Addeybb are the favourites.
* Verry Elleegant, last-start winner of the Tancred Stakes, is rated the best Aiustralian-trained chance. She is one of five runner’s for Winx’s trainer Chris Waller.
WHAT CONNECTIONS ARE SAYING
“He has gone well before in Japan on rain-affected tracks. If you were going to ask what would we prefer? Yes we would like the drier, firmer track” – Danon Premium’s traveller Teruhiko Saruhashi
“Looking at the field, it is up there with the best around the world. You’ve got the Japanese horse, Te Akau Shark, it’s a red-hot field. But he never lets us down” – trainer Pat Webster on his ageless warrior Happy Clapper
“This has been the grand final this preparation for both of our horses so hopefully we can get them there in really good order” – New Zealand trainer Jamie Richards who has Te Akau Shark and Melody Belle in the 13-horse field
“Addeybb has done very well mentally for his run” – travelling foreman Harry Eustace on the second favourite