Timeform Preview : 2020 Queen Elizabeth Stakes

A classic field of quality group one horses line up in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes this afternoon comprising some of the best representatives from Japan, Britain, New Zealand and Australia

In terms of a classic weight for age group one contest, I doubt there has been a race with a more broader international depth held in Australia for a long time.

Addeybb  Picture: Pat Healy Photography

British entrant Addeybb  showed what was to come this afternoon with a hard fight win on his Australian debut seeing off a determined Verry Elleegant challenge over the final stages of the Ranvet Stakes, winning by half a length.

Many though the William Haggas trained galloper would improve considerably with that run under his belt where he ran to his overseas peak Timeform rating of 124 earned when runner up to crack mare Magical in the Champion Stakes over todays 2000m distance at Ascot.

VERRY ELLEEGANT  Picture: Steve Hart

Visiting rider Tom Marquand who was atop Addeybb in the Ranvet retains the mount – the rider showing great initiative in the Ranvet to take up the running when the race was devoid of any pace.

And that's the advantage of horse and rider this afternoon, Addeybb's versatility to perform at his optimum either racing handy or setting the pace – desired attributes for weight for age racing.

Also, in Addeybb's favour is the prospect of soft ground over what is shaping up to be his preferred 2000m distance at which he is yet to miss place from five starts, winning twice.

MUSTAJEER winning the Parramatta Cup (LR).
MUSTAJEER winning the Parramatta Cup (LR). Picture: Steve Hart

Champion trainer Chris Waller will have five runners in the race with the improving mare Verry Elleegant clearly the top seed on Timeform weight adjusted ratings.

This preparation has seen Verry Elleegant  return to racing in career best form reaching a new peak Timeform rating of 123 with her effortless display in the BMW over 2400m a fortnight back.

That win followed her narrow defeat at the hands of Addeybb in the Ranvet Stakes where arguably she was muscled out of winning that race close to the finish line by a tougher opponent.

Prior to that effort Verry Elleegant was run down late in the Group One Chipping Norton Stakes over 1600m by outstanding New Zealand galloper Te Akau Shark.

An improvement in Verry Elleegant's racing demeanour this campaign has seen her race handier to the pace which maximises her winning opportunities.

With James McDonald electing to ride crack Japanese galloper Danon Premium, Nash Rawiller will be taking the reins on Verry Elleegant this afternoon.

The query in the race is the Japanese star Danon Premium who has form around two of Japan's champion mares Almond Eye and outstanding Cox Plate winner Lys Gracieux.

In fact, Danon Premium holds a win over Lys Gracieux last year in the Kinko Sho at Chuyko over today's distance of 2000m.

That piece of form alone should be enough to send shivers through his rivals today.

However, Danon Premium has to reproduce his best form in a foreign country and on a less than ideal racing surface with the going likely to be in the soft range.

Add to that the fact that Danon Premium has not raced since November last year and this classy galloper does have a few hurdles to overcome.

That said, his form book suggests he has plenty of class on his side and resuming from a spell is not normally a concern, winning five of his seven attempts, the most recent was in October last year when it took a red hot Almond Eye to defeat him fresh up in the Tenno Sho (Autumn) at Tokyo where he ran to a Timeform rating of 127.

A winner of six of his ten race starts, Danon Premium has been sparingly raced with gaps between peak runs the norm for this horse.

Make no mistake, if Danon Premium  does handle the soft ground, he is going prove a formidable opponent.

Crack New Zealand galloper Te Akau Shark comes through the George Ryder Stakes, arguably the best lead up race providing five of the last seven Queen Elizabeth Stakes winners.

However, his effort to finish third in that race is best overlooked as not much went right that day.

A step up to 2000m today combined with a soft track should see him return to his peak form and a 126 Timeform rating puts him right in the finish.

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The William Haggas trained Young Rascal has won six of 11 starts and did a good job to win first up, when too strong late in the N.E. Manion Cup [2400m].

By all reports he had a fair bit of improvement to come and while yet to be seen beyond 2400m, he gives the impression he will relish the extra trip.

Leading jockey Tom Marquand is unbeaten aboard the five-year-old (2/2) and the wide draw gives him plenty of options.

When assessing Timeform weight adjusted ratings, he sits top and if able to continue his upward spiral, he should prove hard to beat.

The Kris Lees trained Mustajeer  is racing in career best form, but will need to raise the bar again if he is to carry 57.5kg to victory on Saturday.

An impressive winner fresh, he bumped into Master Of Wine second up, before not disgraced behind Verry Elleegant in the Group 1 Tancred Stakes [2400m].

He brings the strongest form into the event and while giving weight away, you have to respect his class.

Stablemate Raheen House displayed sharp improvement when winning the Group 2 Chairman's Quality [2600m] last weekend and has to be respected on the quick back up.

10 of the last 20 winners have followed this path and it's worth noting Mustajeer and Raheen House clashed in last year's Ebor Handicap.

Mustajeer was successful on that occasion (16-1) with Raheen House (5-1) finishing ninth, however there is a 5kg swing in favour of Raheen House on Saturday.

Of the rest the Archie Alexander trained Gallic Chieftain appears the next in line, he too comes through last Saturday's Chairman's Quality.

He returned the fastest L200m of the event and should be right at his peak fourth up.

While yet to win on the quick back up, he handles all conditions and appears well treated at the weights.

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