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Queen Of The Turf Preview – Heavenly Trifecta Looms

April 7, 2012

http://www.justhorseracing.com.au/tips/2012-queen-of-the-turf-stakes-tips-preview-and-selections/143417

The Queen of the Turf (1500m) has only been run at Group 1 level since 2005, but the weight for age affair already has a nice list of winners behind it.

Since 2005, the winners of this race have been Ike’s Dream, Mnemosyne, Divine Madonna, Forensics, Neroli, Typhoon Tracy and More Joyous – a pretty good line up of mares!

It provides another route for mares coming from the Coolmore Classic who are looking to head to the Doncaster Mile.

The sad death of Cox Plate winner Pinker Pinker on Wednesday has reduced the field to 10 runners, headed by last year’s winner More Joyous.

Just Horse Racing’s Andrew Hawkins has looked at the field in an attempt to find one to beat the hot favourite.

Here is his preview:

1. MORE JOYOUS (7)

Sydney’s top mare who looked like she was back to her best last start after an indifferent spring campaign. She’s won 16 from 23 so it is hard to knock her, but following her disappointing run in the Doncaster Mile last year as favourite, she finished a lacklustre third in the Manikato Stakes first up last preparation. She then won at Caulfield, beating Sister Madly narrowly, before finishing down the track in the Myer Classic. However, her first up win in the Canterbury Stakes – against a similar field to today’s George Ryder Stakes – had plenty of merit. She’ll go very close at set weights against the mares here.

2. PINKER PINKER (9)

3. KING’S ROSE (11)

Last start Coolmore Classic third. She was a good New Zealand filly and, unlike many who had gone before her, she brought her form to Australia. Transferred to Peter Moody, she won the Memsie Stakes at her first start for him. She then won the Stocks Stakes, which was probably one of the better form references last spring. She hasn’t won since, but she has placed at Group 1 level three times, she ran a very fine eighth in the Newmarket Handicap and she was the victim of a poor ride when seventh in the Cox Plate. If More Joyous isn’t on her game, I’m sure King’s Rose will be there ready to pounce. Definite chance.

4. HURTLE MYRTLE (6)

Myer Classic winner in the spring. This mare had shown plenty of raw ability early on, running placings in races like the Silver Shadow Stakes, the Furious Stakes, the Flight Stakes and the Surround Stakes as a three year old filly. But she seemd to have a few injury issues throughout her four year old year. She seemed to find her best last spring, running second in the Premiere Stakes before winning the Myer Classic from Sacred Choice and Dysphonia. She does seem to be at her best third up from a spell, meaning you’ll probably see the best of Hurtle Myrte in the Doncaster Mile. Nevertheless, there’s no reason why she couldn’t run a bold race here. Chance.

5. OFCOURSEICAN (4)

Coolmore Classic winner who seems to have found a new lease of life this preparation. She was a good winner in the Liverpool City Cup before storming home from a long way back to win the Coolmore. She was well suited there under the handicap conditions and she meets King’s Rose 4kg worse when there was only a long neck between them. She’s in with a chance on her current form but I think she’ll finish behind King’s Rose today. Place best for mine.

6. RED TRACER (6)

Red Tracer has been quite the inconsistent four year old after racing ever so consistently as a three year old! As a filly, she never missed a place, winning races like the P J Bell and the James Carr while running second in the Light Fingers Stakes and the Surround Stakes. But as a mare, she’s been all over the shop. She won the Toy Show Quality first up before disappointing when second in the Mona Lisa Stakes. She then ran a very good third behind Secret Admirer and Pinker Pinker in the Epsom Handicap before once again disappointing in the Emirates Stakes. She was good first up in the Breeders Classic, brilliant in the Millie Fox Quality before then running poorly in the Coolmore Classic. What’s the point? Well, it’s hard to know what to expect from her. I doubt she could win anyway, but I think she’s a place chance on her best. But if she runs like she did last start, she’s no chance at all. Place at best.

7. YOSEI (1)

This horse never ceases to amaze me. She seems to only switch on when she’s racing in Group 1 company! She actually ran pretty well in the Coolmore Classic, where she was only beaten a length and a half by Ofcourseican. Michelle Payne fired in a protest which was dismissed as frivolous. She’s only won four times in her career – three of those have been in Group 1 races. They were the AJC Sires Produce Stakes as a two year old, the Thousand Guineas as a spring three year old and the Tatts Tiara at the end of her three year old year. Personally, I’m not sure if she’s up to this at set weights but she’s shocked me before, so she could do it again. Place chance for mine.

8. LIGHTS OF HEAVEN (10)

This is a very interesting entrant! Lights of Heaven looked like a very nice stayer in the making after she won the Australasian Oaks as a three year old – she beat Southern Speed that day! But although she raced alright in the spring, she was still below what was expected of her. She was good first up in the Lawrence (formerly the Liston) behind Whobegotyou, when she arguably should have won. She was then an odds on favourite in the Makybe Diva Stakes when she finished fifth, before also starting favourite in the Underwood and finishing ninth. She ran alright in the Yalumba, but something looked to be amiss in the Mackinnon Stakes. If she runs up to what was expected from her in the spring, she could very well just win. Even on her first up run last preparation, she probably deserves to be shorter than what she is. She’s the blowout.

9. SKYERUSH (3)

This mare intrigues me. I remember when she was tried as a stayer ages ago, she actually did quite well. But then she showed promise last preparation over a mile. She even finished fourth in the Myer Classic! She was disappointing first up in the Wenona Girl, but she’s better suited out to this trip. In my eyes, she’s probably just a place chance as I can’t see her turning the tables on the likes of Hurtle Myrtle. But an improved showing is expected on her first up effort.

10. MISS KEEPSAKE (5)

One time Queensland Oaks winner who must frustrate trainer Joe Pride. She shows promise over shorter trips, then she starts to race as though she wants further so Pride steps her up in distance – but she doesn’t seem to stay and so he brings her back in distance. This works for a while. It seems to be a cycle with Miss Keepsake. She was very good first up in the Bert Lillye Memorial at Kembla Grange. This is a massive step up and I’d be surprised if she could match it with this calibre of horse. But she has a history of doing the opposite of what is expected of her, so I guess with that in mind she’s probably a chance.

11. CABERNET (2)

I remember when Cabernet was just starting out…wow, has time flown! She goes well, Cabernet, but in much lower grades than this. She’s definitely not suited at set weights and there’s nothing to suggest she has the potential to improve. Although I couldn’t have had her, she would have been much better placed in the Coolmore Classic. But here? Not for me.

SUMMARY

Quite a good line up of mares, I think! Based on her return in the Canterbury Stakes, only bad luck will stop MORE JOYOUS from recording a victory here. In Sydney in recent times, she’s proved near unbeatable. She only needs to run up to the same mark as last year to go close. The danger is KING’S ROSE, who has been racing so well in the last year. If More Joyous is off her game, King’s Rose will pounce. I reckon if there’s a blowout, it could be LIGHTS OF HEAVEN who is the most interesting runner here. For fourth, go with HURTLE MYRTLE, but expect her to go even better in the Doncaster Mile.

NUMBERS

1 – MORE JOYOUS
3 – KING’S ROSE
8 – LIGHTS OF HEAVEN
4 – HURTLE MYRTLE

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