Ascot: QE2 Stakes betting and odds
QE2 betting preview
The Queen Elizabeth II Stakes is Saturday’s feature at Ascot with Richard Hannon’s top miler Canford Cliffs and his 2,000 guineas conqueror Makfi vying for favouritism at the head of the market. But it’s the Hannon colt that will surely go off favourite after his impressive hat-trick in the St James’ Palace Stakes, the Irish 2,000 guineas and the Sussex Stakes last time out. Canford Cliffs is currently best priced 6/4 with Coral with Makfi being chalked up at 9/4 with Totesport.
QE2 Stakes latest odds:
A hot field of runners look set to go to post for this Group One race over a mile but it seems it is wonderhorse Canford Cliffs they must all topple. This despite Aidan O’Brien’s runners dominating the fourteen strong field, with the pick of his entries being last years winner Rip Van Winkle. The 4yo colt claimed the International Stakes at York in August but that form has since been franked after ‘Rip’ was beaten five and-a-half lengths by stable mate Cape Blanco at Leopardstown latest. For that reason, the Ballydoyle trained horse is pretty solid in the betting at 4/1 with Coral but he must rediscover his York form if he’s to come close to the two market leaders.
Poet’s Voice will run for the Godolphin yard on Saturday and is another who may well have place claims. Saeed Bin Suroor’s runner won the Group 2 celebration mile at Goodwood in his last outing beating odds on favourite Main Aim by four-and-a-half lengths. However, only four went to post that day and the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes will provide much sterner competition. A good consistent run though could be on the cards if the horse settles,as he has a tendency to pull hard in the early stages. Paddy Power bet 14/1 for the 3yo colt, but definitely worth an each way squeak.
Another Aidan O’Brien runner is the unpredictable Steinbeck, and although he’s racked up two wins from his last two, the worry is Canford Cliffs has had the measure of him on two occasions before. The Irish raider is a 20/1 shot (Bet365) but hasn’t reached the heights Ballydoyle expected of him and is probably best just watched in the race. Rio De La Plata represents another chance for Godolphin at 25/1 (Victor Chandler) but he could be left in the shadow of the other runner in Godolphin blue, Poet’s Voice. Despite notching victory in the Strensall Stakes at York last month, he’s one of the more exposed horses in the line-up and will do well to place in this opposition. Other notable outsiders making the trip to Ascot include Pat Eddery’s Hearts of Fire (25/1) and Sheikh Hamdan’s Awzaan (33/1) but both are expected to play minor roles. Nevertheless, any money for the pair would be significant and worth a market inspection in the build up to race time.
So there we have it, the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes looks set to be a two-horse race between Canford Cliffs and Makfi, but who will take the honours? Currently the score stands at one-all between the cross channel rivals, with Makfi having the better of the 2,000 guineas before Canford drew level in the St James’ Palace Stakes at Ascot. Neither can afford to flop this time around in this mouth-watering clash. The French trained Makfi has already seen off Group 1 ace Goldikova in the Prix Jacques Le Marois putting behind him his Royal Ascot run. Trainer Mikel Delzangles is confident of taking the 250,000 prize money and has no concerns over the ground. With Christophe Soumillon on board, who has ridden him before, he could well be the big gamble on Saturday afternoon. Canford Cliffs will take all the beating but if there is a fly in his ointment, Makfi is the one most likely to take advantage of it.
By Mikey Mumford
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