Queen Elizabeth Stakes 2024 no Place for the faint-hearted

The presence of bold frontrunning rival Pride Of Jenni has fuelled Tommy Berry’s hopes that Place Du Carrousel can score a breakthrough Australian win in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

The former French mare made an encouraging local debut when runner-up to Via Sistina in the Ranvet Stakes (2000m), but she was no match for the winner’s withering finishing sprint in a slowly run race.

The pair face off again in Saturday’s Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick but this time, the Ciaron Maher-trained Pride Of Jenni will be there to ensure a genuine tempo with her catch-me-if-you-can tactics.

Berry says that could make all the difference for Place Du Carrousel, a winner up to 2400m in Europe.

“You’ve got a horse like Ciaron Maher’s in it on Saturday, it’s going to make it a true staying test and that’s going to suit a mare like mine,” Berry said.

“The team had to put a lot of work into her to run her at that distance first-up and they’ve been able to just shoot the breeze with her since then.

“You can feel she is really bubbly and above herself. She’s in a great frame of mind.”

Berry partnered Place Du Carrousel in a solid workout at Randwick on Tuesday and has no doubt the five-year-old, a Group 1 winner over 2000m in France, has improved.

But he admits she will need to lift to get the better of her last start conqueror, along with other high-class rivals the ilk of Mr Brightside, Cascadian and Pride Of Jenni.

“She’d have to improve, and I think she has,” Berry said.

“She is a lot sharper this time around.

“I don’t think it will be as easy for James (McDonald on Via Sistina) to get past me – if he does – and it won’t be as big a margin at the finish.”

While Berry is looking forward to the injection of tempo from Pride Of Jenni, he is also wary about the tactical ramifications.

The mare generally sets up a big mid-race lead and that isn’t a scenario Berry comes across often.

“It has been a while since I’ve ridden in a race with a horse like Pride Of Jenni,” he said.

“There were a couple, but they were in Winx races and they were trying to undo Winx.

“It’s interesting – who is going to make the move to chase her? And how long are they going to wait to do that?”

ATC Australian Derby runner-up Ceolwulf adds another layer of intrigue to the Queen Elizabeth Stakes as he bids to become the first three-year-old to win since Intergaze in 1997.

About RS NewsWire

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