Ascot preview: Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (14.30)
David Metcalf | October 16, 2015
Gleneagles can prove himself the best miler in Europe by getting the better of Solow to land the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot (14.30).
The Aidan O’Brien trained colt is a five-time Group 1 winner, albeit disqualified in one of those when landing the Prix Jean-Luc Lagadare at Longchamp as a juvenile, and put in a stunning display on seasonal reappearance when landing the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket.
After racing in touch on the stands side, Gleneagles made smooth headway two from home to take up the running at the furlong marker and quicken clear to beat Terrotories by 2 1/4 lengths.
The turn of foot shown by Gleneagles marked him out as something very special, and the beautifully bred son of Galileo followed up with success in the Irish equivalent at the Curragh.
Gleneagles then had little difficulty landing the Group 1 St James’s Palace Stakes over course and distance when last seen in action, travelling powerfully throughout an scooting clear in impressive fashion a furlong from home to win easily by 2 1/2 lengths.
The three-year-old has since missed two engagements because of soft ground, but if O’Brien allows him to take his chance after walking the course Gleneagles looks the one to beat.
French raider Solow is bidding to make it five Group 1 wins on the bounce and is a formidable opponent in what looks a match on paper.
Trained by Freddie Head, Solow has won 11 of his 16 starts and is unbeaten is his last eight.
The last four of those have all come in Group 1 company, and the five-year-old showed a smart turn of foot to beat Arod in the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood when last seen in action.
Prior to that Solow landed the Queen Anne Stakes over course and distance when beating Esoterique with far more in hand than the winning margin of one length suggests.
The runner-up is a very smart mare who has gone on to land two Group 1 contests, and the form has a very solid look to it.
It’s impossible to pick holes in Solow’s profile, and the son of Shamardal has the perfect blend of a high cruising speed and potent turn of foot.
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Coral’s top tip: If allowed to take his chance, dual classic winner Gleaneagles can get the better of Solow in what promises to be a mouthwatering clash.