Warning strikes in Queen Elizabeth Stakes
Warning made a winning return to Flemington on Saturday, taking out the $300,000 Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) in part due to a tremendous front-running ride from Nash Rawiller.
The 2019 Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) winner had not contested a similar race at Flemington since that victory at the Melbourne Cup Carnival two years ago, with his six starts at the track since being over shorter trips except for last year’s Group 1 Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m), in which he finished 12th.
Returning to the Queen Elizabeth Stakes, 100 metres longer than the Penfolds Victoria Derby, brought out the best in Warning though as he produced a tough performance to defeat Group 2 Zipping Classic (2400m) winner Sound by a length and a quarter with a further neck back to last week’s Group 3 Bendigo Cup (2400m) victor Wentwood in third.
Sam Freedman, who prepares Warning in partnership with his father Anthony, said the Queen Elizabeth Stakes had been the long-term plan for the stayer, who also won the ATC St Leger (2600m) at his last start in Sydney.
“He’s been a terrific horse for the stable, a real stable favourite,” he said. “He’s been there since day one. He’s been to every big dance - the Caulfield Cup, the Melbourne Cup and obviously a Derby winner.
“He’s got such a good record here at Flemington and he’s a true stayer. Nash really gets on with him, gets him out of the gates and interested. He’s in a rich vein of form.”
Rawiller, who scored his second Queen Elizabeth Stakes victory after taking the feature with eventual two-time Group 1 winner Zavite in 2007, brought up his second winner of Cup Week after making a dash from his Sydney base.
“He was the best stayer in the race,” Rawiller said. “He came in fit and he loves the track and distance. I just jumped him out positively and let him go through his gears from about the 900 (metres) and we were able to make it a staying test, which suited him.
“It’s always nice to be back home in Victoria and riding winners. Life couldn’t be better at the moment.”
Image: Warning winning at Flemington (Credit: Getty Images)