The spring hasn’t quite reached the expectations Cranbourne trainer Ken Keys had hoped for with his stable star Rich Enuff running a narrow second in the Caulfield Guineas and missing a place as race-favourite in the star-studded Coolmore Stud Stakes. However, Keys still has the chance to claim a spring feature with his young stayer Bring Something in Saturday’s Queen Elizabeth Stakes. He’s coming off a Bendigo Cup win, will eat up the 2500m at Flemington and is good each-way value at $10.00. Race favourite is Noble Protector at $3.00 from Prince Of Penzance ($4.20) and Big Memory ($5.50).
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1. PRINCE OF PENZANCE – J Bowman (3) 58kgs
Ran a long neck to second to Count Of Limonade in the Moe Cup before winning the G2 Moonee Valley Cup in good style a fortnight ago. Settled at the tail of the field last start but found a nice run through the field from the 600m, saving ground along the fence before easing off the leader’s heels and finishing too strongly for Le Roi and Au Revoir, winning by 1.3 lengths. Ran second to Cooldini in the Listed Roy Higgins (2600m) earlier in the year under 58kgs and record at or beyond 2400m is very strong.
2. BIG MEMORY – T Berry (7) 57.5kgs
Tried to sneak into the Cup field by winning the G3 Lexus Stakes (2500m) on Derby Day but found Signoff, who went on to run fourth in the Cup, a shade to strong late and finished second (2.5 lengths). That continued his good run of form but has had plenty of tough racing in the past month (Caulfield Cup and Herbert Power) and just wonder how he’ll handle the quick back-up.
3. LE ROI – D Oliver (10) 56.5kgs
Meets Prince Of Penzance 1.5kgs better for running second to him in the G2 Moonee Valley Cup (2500m) a fortnight ago. Rolled along on the pace there from an inside draw and stuck on well. Goes well at Moonee Valley, his latest win was there, and would enjoy a bit of give in the ground for Saturday’s race. At this level, from a wide gate, think he’d need those conditions to be winning here.
4. EPINGLE – (9)
Was hitting the line in good style two starts back, her second run from a spell, when fourth (1.5 lengths) behind Mourinho in the Listed Cranbourne Cup (2025m). She then lined up in the Moonee Valley Cup (2500m) where from three back in the running line, she only batted home to run fourth (4.6 lengths) behind Prince Of Penzance. Expected to see more from her late than she produced last start and hard to say, given that she meets last start’s winner not much better at the weights; that she can turn it around.
5. BRING SOMETHING – L Nolen (8) 55.5kgs
The 4yo made it two wins on the trot with victory in the Listed Bendigo Cup (2400m). They set a strong tempo in the Bendigo Cup and that played into the hands of the son of Sebring who finished strongly from the second half of the field to defeat Massiyn by a short head. That was his third win from five starts at or beyond 2400m and he is sure to run out a strong 2500m. Flemington suits and he is a promising young stayer who is still improving.
6. ZANBAGH – G Boss (6) 54.5kgs
After three runs back from a spell, the daughter of Bernardini was set to produce her best in the G3 Geelong Cup (2400m), and was sent out a strong 6/1 chance. However an injury to her hoof suffered during the race, saw her ran a distance eleventh. Trainer wasn’t sure she’ll be seen again this Spring so a bit surprised to see her lining up here and wouldn’t thought she’s had the ideal lead-up for tough race.
7. LET’S MAKE A DEAL – D Dunn (2) 54.5kgs
Got a lovely run midfield in the G2 Herbert Power (2400m) but couldn’t quite pick up Big Memory and Signoff, running third (0.6 lengths). She then didn’t make much of an impression from a similar position in Saturday’s G3 Lexus Stakes (2500m) and ran fifth (5.8 lengths). Gets some weight-relief here, down from 56.5kgs from Saturday, and drawn inside she should take up a handy position. Will give her best but that may not be enough to win this race.
8. NOBLE PROTECTOR – C Williams (5) 54.5kgs
Had his first week in eight weeks and first on Australian shores when second (1 length) to Contributor – favourite for the Emirates Stakes (1600m) later in the day. Sat second in the David Jones Cup and joined the leader as they turned, no match for winner late but she’ll be fitter again and the extra 500m will play into her hands. Strong form over similar trip overseas and gets every chance from gate five.
9. COMMANDING TIME – (4) 54.5kgs
Won his second country cup when three starts ago, he took out the Benalla Cup (2046m) three starts back but stepping up in class in two subsequent runs, has seen him struggle. The 7yo ran seventh in the G3 David Jones Cup and seventh again in an Open handicap (2040m) on Cox Plate eve. Drops 3kgs on that run here but that will not be enough to see him winning.
10. ALI VITAL – (1) 54.5kgs
Got a long way back in the Geelong Cup and narrowly avoided a horse that had broken down rounding the turn. His tenth (10.6 lengths) was a true reflection on his ability and he proved that by running fourth (two lengths) at his following start, the Bendigo Cup (2400m). He ran home steadily from the tail of the field but was no match for winner Bring Something and it’s hard to see how he’ll turn the tables on that runner, plus a few others, in this event.
Commanding Time and Let’s Make A Deal push forward with Noble Protector lobbing in the box seat. She’ll be hard to beat with that kind of run and will only strip fitter for having had the run in the David Jones Cup. Bring Something will settle toward the back of the field but will make his own run from three and keep coming all day. Flemington suits. Big Memory is the class runner of the race but just some concern about the quick back-up after a tough campaign.
- NOBLE PROTECTOR
- BRING SOMETHING
- BIG MEMORY
- PIRATE OF PENZANCE