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Elsworth hoping pair of Queens can come up trumps at Epsom

Australian Queen bidding to spring another Oaks shock

Qualify sprang a 50/1 shock in last year’s Investec Oaks, and trainer David Elsworth is hoping that Australian Queen can provide another upset in this year’s renewal of the fillies’ Classic at the Epsom Derby Festival on Friday, June 3rd.

The Newmarket handler’s last runner in the race Something Exciting finished second to Eswarah in 2005, and he also saddled out Mighty Flutter to be third at odds of 66/1 in the 1984 Derby.

Elsworth’s runners clearly command plenty of respect, and he is a trainer that isn’t affraid to have a go at the big races when he believes he has an animal capable of making an impact.

Opened account at Lingfield

Owned amd bred by Jeff Smith, Australian Queen came good at the third time of asking when landing a 1m maiden on the all-weather at Lingfield in February.

The daughter of Fastnet Rock has since made two appearances on turf, coming home eighth in the Pretty Polly Stakes at Newmarket and fifth to So Mi Dar in the Group 2 Musidora Stakes at York.

Australian Queen is currently 50/1 for the Oaks with Coral, the official betting partner of the Investec Derby Festival.

Good filly improving rapidly

David Elsworth

Elsworth said: “I thought Australian Queen ran well in the Musidora Stakes. It was only her second start on turf and she is mentally a big, backward filly – she is a slow learner.

“So Mi Dar won by four lengths that day and we were just over five lengths further back. She fell out of the stalls and got involved coming up the straight. She will come on a ton for that, but she needs to.

“Something Exciting was a lot more precocious whereas this filly was very backward. We ran Australian Queen on the all-weather to teach her to race and she didn’t handle the bend when she won at Lingfield Park – she nearly went over to the jumps course.

“In the Pretty Polly Stakes, we dropped her in and they didn’t go a great gallop. She travelled well for most of the race but was found wanting when they kicked for home because she wasn’t switched on mentally. She is a good filly, who is improving rapidly, and there is only one Oaks, so we are going to give it a go.”

Arabian Queen looking to follow in footstep of In The Groove

David Elsworth

Elsworth and Smith are also set to be represented by Australian’s Queen illustrious half-sister Arabian Queen, who is due to run in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Cup on Derby Day, Saturday, June 4th.

The four-year-old filly beat last year’s Investec Derby hero Golden Horn when a 50/1 chance in the Group 1 Juddmonte International at York in August, and went down by a length to Usherette on her seasonal return in the Group 2 Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket.

Arabian Queen is a 14/1 chance with Coral to become the first filly or mare to win the the 1m 4f Coronation Cup since the 1991 scorer In The Groove, who was also trained by Elsworth.

Storming run in Dahlia

Elsworth added: “I thought Arabian Queen ran a storming race in the Dahlia Stakes. We felt that she might improve 7lb to 10lb for the race but she ran so well that I am not sure if she can improve that much!

“She goes round Epsom, having won the Princess Elizabeth Stakes there last year, and Postponed will frighten a few off. It’s an encounter that we are looking forward to.”

Related

You’ll find comprehensive coverage of the Derby Festival on our Epsom page.

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