Lucia Valentina (left) is a chance in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick today.Picture / Darryl Sherer
Preferment and Criterion tough competitors at Randwick while Te Aroha hosts the $200,000 Breeders Stakes
The A$4 million Queen Elizabeth is not an easy race because there is no standout and plenty of scope for an upset.
The favourite is former UK stayer The United States. He won the Ranvet okay, but it's difficult to go crazy on him, particularly at short odds.
Preferment, Criterion, Hauraki and Lucia Valentina all appeal.
This will be a tough race and Preferment and Criterion, last year's winner, fit that bill. Lucia Valentina loves cut in the ground and the wetter the better for her. She got home strongly into fourth in the Coolmore on a good surface and will be much more comfortable today.
Rising Romance has a couple of wins on footing she will strike today and she will be around $5-$6 a place. Her fresh-up BMW effort was a real eye-catcher.
Then there's the group one at Te Aroha where the mares go around in the Breeders Stakes. The track was rated yesterday as a dead 4 and the predicted rain is now expected to go way off the east coast and conditions should be perfect at Te Aroha.
On reasonable footing Te Aroha, despite its very long home straight, can assist those on the pace. Recite (No2, R8) is one of those and it will probably help that she has not raced for seven weeks. She has the nice No 4 barrier and is a strong chance in an even field.
Difficult to assess Rasa Lila (No4). She won with ease at Trentham last start, but this is tougher. She can really finish off and the roomy track should suit her.
Emily Monk (No10) is another difficult case. She is unbeaten this campaign with efforts that caught the eye. She is stepping up from R85 to group one and that is not easy. She is magnificently tough at the end of her races and will be in the fight late. Perfect Fit (No7) has the right formline. Difficult race.
Hollywood Lass (No15, R1) has won two trials and has come up with the perfect No1 barrier for her debut. She is at very short odds and deserves to be.
Stradivarius (No2, R2) looked good winning at the trials, showing he was ready for a strong resuming run. Slice Of Cake (No1) is talented and Caprikosa (No12) has the right form.
Hunapo (No14, R3) has had no luck. He has Matt Cameron and a perfect barrier draw here and appeals as a strong each-way chance in a good line-up. First Class (No7) is pretty genuine and has drawn well.
The Te Aroha Cup (R5) is very tough to sort out. You've got the Auckland Cup winner El Soldado (No1), but he has 60kg topweight.
Endean Rose (No11) is down on 53kg and appeals as an emerging stayer. The track should be perfect for her. Chenille (No6) and Dubai Shuffle are big dangers.
Watch This Space (No3, R7) has been in great form. At 55.5kg with Brendan Hutton's allowance, this will be tougher than last time, but he is racing very well.