Three-year-old Retrieve will be out to farewell Australian racing on a high with a belated Group One win in Saturday’s Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
The multiple Group One placegetter is set to join Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin operation in Europe after the 2000m weight-for-age contest at Randwick.
“Him being well, he will go into quarantine straight after the Queen Elizabeth and will do 30 days there and then fly to join the Godolphin team in the UK,” Darley Australia’s managing director Henry Plumptre said.
Retrieve has won two Group Three races and been placed in four Group Ones but is yet to break through at the top level.
The colt was third on a slow track in the Victoria Derby (2500m) last spring and this preparation has netted seconds in both the Rosehill Guineas (2000m) and AJC Australian Derby (2400m) last start.
The Peter Snowden-trained son of Rahy is the $4.40 favourite for the Queen Elizabeth.
“It would be well deserved if he got one (a Group One) up,” Plumptre said.
“He’s a very good horse and I think in the Victoria Derby in the spring he struck the wrong ground on the day.
“He’s better on top of the ground and then he found one better in the Rosehill Guineas and found another one better in the Derby.
“At the end of the day he has very little more to prove except to find himself with his head in front in one of these races and hopefully he can do that on Saturday.”
Intergaze in 1997 is the last three-year-old to have won the Queen Elizabeth but there has been a three-year-old in the minor placings in the past four editions.
Monaco Consul came off his Derby third placing last year to finish third in the Queen Elizabeth, Metal Bender dead-heated for second in 2009 while Derby winner Nom Du Jeu also ran second in 2008 and Haradasun came off a Doncaster victory to finish runner-up to Desert War in 2007.
Retrieve will be ridden by Kerrin McEvoy who has been impressed with the way the colt has come out of his tough Derby outing.
“He is against older horses on Saturday but he’s done really well since the Derby,” McEvoy said.
“That day he and (winner) Shamrocker cleared out from the rest of the field and she ran a good race last week for second in the Oaks on ground that was against her.
“He ran well over 2000 metres in the Rosehill Guineas and three-year-olds have a pretty good record in this race.
“Being a three-year-old towards the end of the season he’s still got a nice weight pull off those older horses which could really help him on Saturday.”