The Queen won’t have a Melbourne Cup runner but is happy Bold Sniper still has a chance of winning a race named in her honour.
The five-year-old import will head for the $300,000 Queen’s Cup – formerly known as the Queen Elizabeth Stakes – at Flemington on Stakes Day after running fourth in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup, trainer David Hayes says.
“He’s set for a race funnily enough called the Queen Elizabeth on the final day, so that will have him absolutely spot on for the Queen Elizabeth,” Hayes told AAP.
Bold Sniper needed to win on Saturday and attract a hefty penalty to have a chance of making the Melbourne Cup field.
“He wouldn’t get in and he needs his races a bit more spaced,” Hayes said.
“The Queen’s very happy to just place him in a race he can win and her race is probably the one I think.”
Queen Elizabeth II has closely followed Bold Sniper’s form since sending the gelding to be trained in Australia in January, first under Gai Waterhouse before being transferred to Hayes and co-trainer and nephew Tom Dabernig.
Hayes spoke to the Queen and her racing manager John Warren before Saturday’s race, telling them Bold Sniper’s best form should hold up at Moonee Valley.
“She was wanting to know how last could be good form,” Hayes told the Seven Network, in reference to Bold Sniper’s second-last placing in The Bart Cummings.
“She wanted to know if the horse was OK – with the Queen the horse comes first.”
Hayes explained that Bold Sniper wore mesh pacifiers over his eyes, to stop him racing too fiercely.
“And she said `well that certainly worked’, with a giggle.”