QE II Challenge Cup – Grade I (P2)
KEE Race #1 1 1/8m Turf Graded Stake
Purse $500.000 For Fillies Three Years Old.
1 Home Cookin Mb Stables Gutierrez Mario
A small and somewhat disappointing field see’s Mb Stables with 2 runners at opposite ends of the draw and both have claims. This daughter of Anybody Home started off the year in good style wining the Ruthless before running close thirds in the GP Oaks and the Davona Dale both grade two events. Since then however she hasnt really gone on with the promise beaten in three consecutive overnight races, one of which was a little allowance at LS. Now we know the class system doesnt really exist at HRP so i wouldnt read too much into that but i think its more significant that she is making the switch to turf after most of her success being on dirt. Her last start which was her first on turf saw her running on strongly for second in an optional claimer at DMR and with some strong turf works she may just be flying under the radar for this race.
2 Moonlight Bliss Fractious Albarado R J
Another that started the year off well, winning four in a row including the Ny Stallion Stakes – Joy she has since been tested in top company and done pretty well. Thirds in the San Clemente and The Sands Point sandwiched a fair 6th in the DMR Oaks proving she could live with this sort of grade but she does have a bit to find with a couple here on that DMR Oaks run. She is working strongly and has proved she likes turf and this trip so with a perfect draw she should be in the mix at the end.
3 Nancy Broom Moytoy Team 7 Illusions Nakatani C S
This daughter of Cherokee Sunset was mostly seen on the state bred circuit until she was launched into stakes racing and she has been pretty good in her two efforts in open class. Unbeaten over a route trip she switched back to turf in the summer and went long for the first time picking up a BEL statebred race but her true value was shown in her last two starts. Firstly she won the San Clemente by a neck from the stalk and then a month later won the DMR oaks with much more in hand. She hasnt run since August which may be a chink in her armour so she is no sure thing but on exposed form she does have the beating of these.
4 Alligator Maxmillion Farm Baze T C
The turf king seems to be able to find five lengths with any horse on the grass and when this one won the Gallorette Stakes and followed up in the Honeymoon she looked yet another turf star in the stable. Since then she has run well without winning finishing fourth in the BEL Oaks and the Diana as well as only finishing a length behind Nancy Broom Moytoy in the DMR Oaks when third. Those efforts make her very close to winning this race and whilst her last start in the Canadian Stakes saw her only finish ninth i wouldnt worry about that too much as she was drawn wide couldn’t get to them late. She will very nearly win this race and will be among the favourites.
5 Maggie Greene The Sidley Stud Husbands P
Another that was a little disappointing in The Canadian she ran better finishing sixth but after her easy win in the Lake Placid she was expected to do better. A decent two year old running in the BC Juvenile Turf she had a slow start to the year but got her nose in front in the ONT Colleen and then won the Lake Placid by a very easy two lengths on rain effected ground. Rain would bring her right into this but without it she is one of about three that have just a good chance.
6 Sprinkles Mb Stables Centeno D E
The other stable entry she was another that ran her races on dirt before a single race last time out on the turf. She was pretty good on the dirt placing in black type but she looked a much improved filly when running on the turf for the first time last time out in the grade one Rodeo Drive. She was pegging back the winner all the way ending up second under a length off Quiver Pond who is probably the BC Turf favourite. Another one who could easily win this she has the wide draw to deal with but a small field gives her a chance of overcoming that.
On the face of it Nancy Broom Moytoy looks a good bet here but there isnt much between these fillies and it may pay to hunt for better odds. Sprinkles will go close, her second to Quiver Pond was out of the top draw and she may well be my best choice in a close field.