Queen Elizabeth II Stakes Tips: Veracious the value play

Queen Elizabeth II Tips: We pick out our best bet for Saturday's Group 1 showpiece at Ascot.
Queen Elizabeth II Tips: We pick out our best bet for Saturday's Group 1 showpiece at Ascot.

Steve Chambers previews Saturday's hotly-anticipated renewal of the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, which sees the unbeaten Palace Pier line up as the red-hot favourite in the Ascot Group 1 on British Champions Day...

It may have been a Flat season remembered with a tinge of sadness with racecourses awash with empty grandstands due to the Coronavirus pandemic forcing racing behind closed doors, but the 2020 campaign has served up some memorable stories, and the final chapter will be written at Ascot on Saturday afternoon.

British Champions Day will attract the elite equine talents, all bidding for one final victory this season, and one of the feature races is the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, which is a one-mile contest that has been won by such superstars as Brigadier Gerard, Dubai Millennium and Frankel.

John Gosden's Palace Pier heads into the race with a perfect record, as five wins from five races has rocketed him into the spotlight this season, and the three-year-old son of Kingman has been installed as an odds-on favourite for the contest. A hugely impressive one-length winner of the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot in June, Gosden's colt will return to that venue to try and notch up a second career Group 1 at the Berkshire venue.

Handed a trip to France for his most recent start, Palace Pier was a comfortable winner of the Group 1 Prix Jacques Le Marois, where he beat Alpine Star by three quarters of a length. Given a break of a couple of months by Gosden, Palace Pier will look to continue his unbeaten streak and maintain his 100% record and receiving weight from some of his older rivals, he looks the one to beat if he can reproduce the same form he has shown this season. 

At the time of writing, the going is soft, heavy in places, so Palace Pier could well have to deal with testing conditions, but he won the aforementioned Prix Jacques Le Marois on heavy ground, meaning the underfoot conditions shouldn't pose too many problems, so it's hard to pick holes in the race favourite, and he's entitled to be a warm order. 

Bet £10 on Horse Racing & Get £40 Free Bets

New customers only – £10 deposit using promo code "RACING" - First bet must be placed on any market - Minimum stake £10 at odds of 1/2 (1.5) - Free bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days - Free bet stakes not included in returns - Deposit balance is available for withdrawal at any time. General deposit method & withdrawal restrictions apply & Full T&C’s apply

Palace Pier will face some classy opposition, with the Andrew Balding-trained classic winner Kameko looking as the biggest danger according to the betting. A superb winner of the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket at the start of the season, Kameko then suffered a string of defeats, with fourth-placed finishes in the Derby, Sussex Stakes and Juddmonte International, but he gained a confidence-boosting success in the Group 2 Joel Stakes at Newbury last month.

A half a length winner of that contest, Kameko got the better of Regal Reality and Benbatl, and the latter of that duo will look to reverse the form when taking his chance this weekend. However, Kameko, who appears to be running over his optimum trip of a mile can frank that form with the Godolphin raider, who looks to be up against it and Balding's charge will look to down Palace Pier. But, while Palace Pier has been a model of consistency this season, Kameko has disappointed at times, so while he is a class act on his day he could well come unstuck against a proven top notch performer in Palace Pier, who can win the duel of the three-year-olds.

Seven of the last ten runnings of the race have been won by three-year-olds, who benefit from a 3 lb advantage over their older rivals. The older brigade are spearheaded by five-year-old The Revenant, who finished a superb second to King Of Change in this race 12 months ago, and the French son of Dubawi will be looking to go one better here. Hovering around the 6/1 mark at the time of writing, The Revenant was last seen winning a Group 2 at Longchamp earlier this month, but that was his first start since his run in the QEII last year, so while he will strip fitter for the run, it's hard to see him having enough to down some more race-fit rivals, who are potentially improve, so the European contender can be ignored.

Horse Racing £20 Risk Free First Bet Money Back In Cash

New customers only. Place your FIRST bet on any sportsbook market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £20. Only deposits made using Cards or Apple Pay will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply. Paddy's Rewards Club: Get a £10 free bet when you place 5x bets of £10+. T&Cs apply. 18+ Begambleaware.org

With Palace Pier appearing to be a cut above his rivals, it looks like the rest of the field will be vying to bag each-way spots, and while the Queen Anne Stakes winner Circus Maximus has shown that he can cut it at Group 1 level at Ascot, his best performances for this season may be past him.

Two at bigger prices that are worthy of a mention are the Simon & Ed Crisford-trained Century Dream and Sir Michael Stoute's Veracious. The former was seventh in this race 12 months ago, so has shown that he can at least put up a bold effort at the highest level, and having won the Diomed Stakes and Celebration Mile this season, the six-year-old shows he's in fine heart this season. However, he disappointed last time out when well fancied for the Boomerang Mile in Ireland, and he could only finish fifth, so he will need to bounce back considerably to play a primary role her.

Veracious may be as big as 33/1 for this contest, at the time of writing, but the Stoute mare has finished fourth twice and third on her three previous visits to Ascot, so she has shown she can perform with credit at the track. A Group 1 winner of the Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket earlier in the season highlights her class, but that did come on good to firm ground. Slower conditions are expected at the weekend, but her last visit to Ascot was in this race 12 months ago, where she finished fourth behind King Of Change, and this year's renewal may lack significant strength in depth.

She is likely to find one or two too good on the day with Palace Pier looking a good thing, but at 33/1 she is worth a speculative each-way play in a race that is wide open behind the red-hot jolly and Stoute, who won this race three times in the 1980s, can unleash another eye-catching runner in the shape of his five-year-old mare Veracious, who looks an interesting runner.

Selection:

Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, Ascot, Saturday 17th October - back Veracious each-way at 33/1

Tip

Queen Elizabeth II Stakes
Veracious silk

Veracious

lost
Champion Stakes Odds

£20 Risk Free First Bet Money Back In Cash

New customers only. Place your FIRST bet on any sportsbook market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is €/£20. T&Cs apply. 18+ begambleaware.org
Bet £10 Get £40 in Free Bets
New customers using promo code C40 only. 1x per customer. Min £10/€10 bet. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). Free bets paid as 2x £15/€15 (expires after 30 days). Max £10 Bonus. 35x wagering requirement. Max redeemable amount £25. Casino bonus expires 72 hours from issue. Eligibility rules, free-bet rules, game, location, payment-method, currency restrictions, stake contributions and terms and conditions apply. 18+ begambleaware.org.
Bet £10 & Get £30 Free Bets + £10 Casino Bonus
Minimum deposit of £10 using deposit code 30F - A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 placed on any sports market - Minimum odds of 1/2 (1.5) - Free bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days - Free bet stakes not included in returns - Casino Bonus must be claimed within 7 days • To withdraw bonus/related wins, wager bonus amount x40 within 14 days • Wagering req. vary by game • Withdrawal restrictions and Full T&C’s apply. 18+ begambleaware.org
Welcome Offer
Open Account Offer. Up to £100 in Bet Credits for new customers at bet365. Min deposit £5. Bet Credits available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply. The bonus code ‘100BET365’ can be used during registration, but does not change the offer amount in any way. 18+ begambleaware.org.
Bet £10 Get £30 + 60 Free Spins
New UK & NI customers only. Promo code SPORTS60. Deposit and place first sports bet of £10+ in one transaction, at odds of Evens (2.0)+, settled within 60 days. First bet must be on Sports. £30 in Free Bets credited within 48 hours of bet settlement. 7-day expiry. Payment restrictions apply. SMS validation may be required. Max 60 Free Spins on Justice League Comics. 7-day expiry.  Full T&Cs apply. 18+ begambleaware.org
Bet £5 Get £20 In Free Bets
Min £5 bet on the SBK. Rewards valid for 7 days. Free bets must be placed at min odds of 1.5. Exchange free bet limited to certain markets. Payment restrictions apply. T&Cs apply. 18+ begambleaware.org
£25 Bet Bundle
18+. UK Customers (Excluding NI) only. Cash stakes only. Min £10 stake required for initial £5 free bet. Min odds ½. Max £25 in free bets. Subsequent free bets equal 50% average of each 3 qualifying bets. 13 bets required to receive full £25 free bet. Qualifying bet must be placed within 30 days of opening account. Cashed out bets will not qualify towards your average stake. One free bet offer per customer, household or IP address only. Free bet expires after 7 days. Payment method restrictions apply. T&Cs apply.
Money back As A Bonus Up To £40 If Your First Racing Bet Loses + £10 Casino
New customers only. 18+, BeGambleAware.org. Min deposit £10. Money back as bonus. Wagering requirements: Racing 3x at min. odds of 1.40 (2/5), Casino 35x. Only one bonus can be used at a time, Racing bonus must be wagered before using the Casino, unless the bonus has been forfeited. Bonus will expire after 7 days of opt-in. #ad
Bet £10 Get £20
New Customers only. Opt in, deposit and place a £10 qualifying bet at odds of 2.00 or greater within 7 days of opening a new account; excludes cashed out bets. Receive a £10 Sports Free Bet, valid on set events only at odds 2.00 or greater. Plus a £10 Casino Bonus, not for Baccarat, wager the Casino Bonus 35x to withdraw, game weighting: Slots/Instant Win:100%; Roulette/Table Games/Video Poker:20%; Blackjack:10%. Bonuses expire in 7 days. PayPal and Card Payments only. Geographical Restrictions and T&Cs Apply, See Below. Please Gamble Responsibly. 18+