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Queen Elizabeth Stakes preview

The staying feature on the final day of the carnival is a rather handy one, with several horses who were a bit stiff to miss out on a Cup run. Take a look below at some of the previous winners too. Holding the magnifying glass to assess the form is @CJAAAAY07 from ThisWeeksPunt. After getting the Wakeful spot on last week, let's hope his run continues....

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The Queen Elizabeth Stakes is the last staying contest of the Flemington carnival run at Group 3 level under handicap conditions. Over the 2600 metre course this race has become a target race in recent years for those horses which are balloted out of the Melbourne Cup with an additional $100,000 put on for the winner if they are unable to get a run in cup the Tuesday prior. The honour roll of the race is a real mix bag with the star horses Might and Power (1998) and Makybe Diva (2002) previously winning this race at short odds however the occasional blowout result has been known to occur like Ironstein (2011) and Sterling Prince (2009). This very well may be because some horses are coming to the end of long campaigns.

This year’s edition of the race appears to be of good quality. Topping the weights are two overseas runners Lost In The Moment and Shahwardi. Last year’s winner Ironstein is back and looks ready to peak along with 2010’s winner Moudre. The exciting runner of the field however is no doubt Puissance De Lune to be ridden by Glen Boss is coming off an eight length victory in the Bendigo cup and the lightly raced sun of Shamardal looks to be improving with every start.

The Runners;
Lost in the Moment (8) K McEvoy – First appearance in Australia since last year’s Melbourne cup 6th. His form in Europe doesn’t appear to be as strong this year with three of his last five runs resulting in further then six lengths defeat. Stable mate was poor in the Melbourne cup this year and with 58 kg’s in this race is worth risking.

Shahwardi (5) Michael Rodd – Comes off a huge win first up in Australia when couldn’t have looked more impressive at Caulfield. The Prix Kergorlay form the start prior in France has held up and second run in Australia I expect improvement. The 28 day freshen up combined with similar opposition to the Herbert Power he is a runner to watch.

Moudre (3) Steven Arnold – The 2010 winner of this race started his campaign back in September with an encouraging third to Southern Speed in the Makybe Diva stakes. Since that time he has put in two very poor runs with no sign of the strong sectional times we know him for. His record at the track is three wins from seven starts however with the injuries may need the rain to be effective today.

Folding Gear (1) Ben Melham – Encouraging run in the Caulfield cup when only beaten three lengths by Dunaden after copping interference down the straight. Interesting to note this horse has never drawn barriers 1-3 throughout career & does have the inside today. I expect they may push forward slightly today and hold a good position in running.

Tanby (4) Hugh Bowman – From the Melbourne Cup winning stable of Lloyd Williams, Tanby has been anything but consistent this campaign with a disappointing performance in the JRA stakes at Moonee Valley before winning the Bart Cummings at this track then wide and raced without cover last week in the Lexus. Six out of eight career wins have come at tracks Bendigo, Morphettville, Sale and Sandown which indicates to me he has been well placed by owner however perhaps a lack of class for top level races. Nevertheless gets barrier four today and with an easier run and lack of tempo up front should give a kick here.

The Verminator (6) Craig Newitt – Solid Sydney performer with a record of six starts at 2400M for two wins and two placings. Form around Glencadam Gold and Kelinni this spring with an okay 2nd last start in the Tatts Club Cup at Randwick. However If you take a line through Fiumicino in that race who was only 0.4L behind in 4th it is hard to see that form measuring up here.

Ironstein (9) Brenton Avdulla – Last year’s winner of this race looks to be working into peak form for another tilt at this race. A poor ride last start from Avdulla in the Moonee Valley cup cost him any chance of victory when turning for home. I do believe this year’s race is a harder edition then the one he took out last year and with extra weight the task may be too much to replicate.

Lightinthenite (2) James McDonald – The stable has a high opinion of this son of Galileo with talk of Caulfield cup being the main aim for 2013. I liked the run at Caulfield after having to work hard to get clear to win then raced on Tuesday in what appeared to be an suitable race over 1800M with 60kgs. I wonder if that run was a plan all along with this race in mind as he has won four from five when only breaking between 0-14 days. McDonald gets a perfect gate to stalk the leaders with and if the stable think he is a cups horse next year we may just find out at the top of the straight.

Vatuvei (11) Vlad Duric - A St Ledger winner as a 3 year old Vatuvei appears to be improving each campaign. Took out the Moonee Valley cup last start while his opposition were getting blocked for runs everywhere. Expect Duric to take him back to last, if the track is favouring swoopers include him however I think he needs the sting out of the ground to be effective here.

Excluded (14) Nicholas Hall – Do we forgive a Lloyd Williams runner for one bad run? Well maybe if they had the talent of Green Moon! Excluded was building nicely after a strong 2nd to Shahwardi in the Herbert Power (not 1.5kgs better off). I am concerned about the slow recovery & sustained abrasions from only a week ago in the Lexus and with barrier 14 this time, it’s a no from me.

Puissance De Lune (7) Glen Boss – Is this one going to fall into the Might and Power or Makybe Diva category for this race after Saturday? I think it is possible! First up 5th to fellow cup week winner Lord of Brazil followed up with a five length win and then an eight length win last start in the Bendigo cup. Barrier 7 should allow Glen Boss to find the perfect spot in running and I think this one has one more peak performance to give.

Dare To Dream (12) Damien Oliver – Unlucky not to make the cup field in what was a rough race last week. Gets in this race with a low weight after not being able to be penalized for any of his Australian performances as yet. Barrier 12 and a jockey under severe pressure is not something I want to follow and I also am concerned with the imports ability to back up for now the 4th run in six weeks (twice in a week on hard tracks).

Streaky Fella (10) Dwayne Dunn – Hamilton Cup was a handy race however I don’t believe it rates up to a standard for this old boy to feature especially from 4 lengths off that winner who we have already seen this week not measure up in a lesser race.

Miss With Attitude (13) Jimmy Cassidy – Hard to see this one turning around a 9 length defeat to the 11 within the space of two weeks. Seems to have lost her turn of foot in recent years which is sign her racing days may be coming to an end.

For me this field is relatively even besides one runner who stands out on progressive ratings which is the 11. Puissance De Lune. Glen Boss aboard with a light weight coming off a career peak last start and out to the bigger track and longer straight which should suit from a perfect barrier. With the bookies having a good week so far I would expect them to take on this favourite and I think the punters should oblige. In terms of the place chances there is some value here, the pick is the 8. Lightinthenite coming off what looked to be a preparation run with 60 kgs mid week, gets the good barrier this time and can take a sit. Take it in the place market.

Best Bet – 11. Puissance De Lune
Best Place 8. Lightinthenite

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