Boss backs Dragonet to fire
CHAMPION jockey Glen Boss maintains Sir Dragonet has the versatility and tactical speed to cope with the shorter race distance of the Group 1 $4 million Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Sir Dragonet is coming off an outstanding last start win in the Tancred Stakes over the Rosehill 2400m course but has to drop back to 2000m for his showdown with English champ Addeybb and Sydney’s super mare Verry Elleegant.
Boss knows what is required to complete the rare Tancred Stakes-Queen Elizabeth Stakes double as he rode the last horse to achieve the feat – Eremein in 2005.
“It’s not like this (double) can’t be done, it’s about having the right horse,’’ Boss said.
“Sir Dragonet is that sort of horse. He is not a slow, cumbersome staying type, either.
“He begins quickly and puts himself in a spot, I could have nearly led-up the Tancred the other day because he has that tactical speed in his legs.
“I rode him work the other day and the horse is going super. Verry Elleegant, Addeybb, they are all flying, all meeting at a great distance on a great track.”
The Queen Elizabeth Stakes is shaping as one of the races of the season although it might not be a large field.
Godolphin won’t have a Queen Elizabeth runner after deciding against backing up with either Doncaster Mile winner Cascadian or stablemate Avilius (fifth behind Cascadian) in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes, while Colette will line up in the $1 million Queen of the Turf Stakes (1600m).
Trainer Kris Lees is warming to the idea of starting Mugatoo in the Queen Elizabeth after he ran fourth in the
Doncaster. “We are more likely to back up now,’’ Lees said. “Mugatoo has come through the race really well and is nice and bright this morning.
“I thought he (Hugh Bowman) rode him perfectly, he used the gate (barrier four) but was probably going just a touch quicker than he needed to be.
“It might have taken a little bit of his turn of foot away from him, but he still ran super and presented like the winner.’’
But New Zealand’s star mare Melody Belle, winner of 14 Group 1 races, is a notable omission from the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
Melody Belle ran on well to finish sixth in Sir Dragonet’s Tancred Stakes but trainer Jamie Richards confirmed she will not race again in Sydney this autumn.
“She is going straight to the Hollindale Stakes (Gold
Coast, May 8),’’ Richards said.
“I thought she ran terrific in the Tancred, we had a bad draw and got a long way out of her ground so it was always going to be difficult for her.
“But we gave her a week in the paddock after that race and we are pretty happy to go to Brisbane now. We will let the ‘big guns’ do the talking in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes and look forward to starting Melody Belle in the Hollindale Stakes and Doomben Cup.’’