Cheltenham Festival Day 1
  • Cheltenham Festival Day 1
  • Cheltenham Festival Day 2
  • Cheltenham Festival Day 3
  • Cheltenham Festival Day 4

Queen Elizabeth II Stakes Tips: Imaging the each-way play

The Dermot Weld-trained Imaging could prove to be overpriced.
The Dermot Weld-trained Imaging could prove to be overpriced.

Joe Tuffin previews Saturday's Queen Elizabeth II Stakes on Champions Day at Ascot, and picks out an each-way selection in the race...

With no standout star announcing themselves in the one-mile division this year, Saturday’s Flat season curtain-closer at Ascot presents an opportunity for one contender to boast the accolade of being Britain’s best miler, in what promises to be thrilling renewal of the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes.

It has been a truly wide-open division this season, with the first three home in Britain’s three open Group 1 races over a mile – the Lockinge, Queen Anne and Sussex Stakes – rather unusually being filled by different horses on each occasion. What’s more, the two market leaders for Saturday’s concluder haven’t participated in any of the aforementioned races, but this just adds to the intrigue and importantly provides possible star quality. 

Making the journey across the Channel for trainer Francis-Henri Graffard - who was victorious here at the Royal meeting four months ago with Watch Me - is the six-race unbeaten gelding, The Revenant. He has been leaving his mark across the continent this year, with pattern wins in both France and Germany, and he could well add a significant British stamp to his passport should he run to his best. 

Last seen pulverising his opponents in a Group 2 at Longchamp on the Saturday of the two-day Arc meeting, the four-year-old will be relishing the heavy rain that has struck the UK this week, and this looks a real opportunity for him to claim a first Group 1 success of his flourishing career under jockey Pierre-Charles Boudot, who is on course for a month from his dreams having won the Arc on Waldgeist two weeks ago.

The main threat and biggest question mark in the race, however, comes from a well-known name amongst racing fans, Benbatl. The Saeed Bin Suroor-trained five-year-old has only been seen on one occasion this year, but it was a mightily impressive performance, as he beat a field of six home in last month's Group 2 Joel Stakes over this trip at Newmarket. Routing a field which included three runners who will likely re-oppose here and earning a near top-class Timeform rating of 129 in the process, there is no doubt over the ability of Benbatl, but this will be a tough assignment against some classy opposition on only his second outing of the season, and the fact that the ground is likely to be heavy will be a concern to connections.

Aidan O’Brien has, as expected, bought a strong team over with him for Champions Day, and he has a good chance of claiming QEII glory with Circus Maximus, an inconsistent sort who showed his a-game when winning a Group 1 contest at Longchamp last month. It has been difficult to know what to expect from the son of Galileo this term; he was well fancied for the Derby but didn’t stay the trip, before introducing himself as a star three-year-old by winning the St James’s Palace Stakes ahead of King Of Comedy and Too Darn Hot. The latter reversed that form at Goodwood in the Sussex Stakes the following month, and a subsequent disappointing run in the Juddmonte International at York left many wondering where next for O’Brien’s colt, but a strong display against an in-form Romanised last time put him right back into the frame for the QEII, and it’ll be interesting to see if he can step up once again to claim back-to-back Group 1s.

O’Brien also has the services of 2,000 Guineas hero Magna Grecia to fall back on, who hasn’t been seen since a disappointing fifth in the Irish equivalent of the one-mile-classic back in May. The-three-year-old will arrive here fresh as a consequence, and it will be interesting to see how he takes to this testing ground, having won the Vertem Futurity Trophy (previously the Racing Post Trophy) on ground softer than good.

The season's star pairing of John Gosden and Frankie Dettori are represented by King Of Comedy, who has gone slightly flat since looking a horse to follow when claiming listed honours at Sandown in May. The three-year-old has faced stiff opposition since, but many of the same rivals line up against him once again, and seeing that form flipped looks unlikely, especially with Benbatl - who was some five-lengths clear of him in the Joel Stakes last time out.

Remaining intrigue comes from Lord Glitters, who took his first Group 1 in the Queen Anne Stakes this year, but he has yet to repeat that performance, and his Royal Ascot win is starting to look more like luck than it is true ability. That being said, he runs well over course and distance and will be sure to be in the reckoning.

For a potential dark horse, the Dermot Weld-trained Imaging may sneak into the places after a couple of bold showings so far this season. He has never competed in a race of this level, but was only beaten half a length by The Revenant in a Group 2 contest at Baden Baden back in May, and is available at a much bigger price than that rival here. That form has worked out well since, and his recent effort to finish second in a Group 3 contest at Tipperary should have sharpened him up after an absence. As such, he looks worthy of a small each-way interest at around the 50/1 mark.

By Saturday evening we will know who spends the winter as Europe’s top miler, and they will be sure to receive a couple of months of carrots and head scratches, but it’s a tricky plot to solve. The pace will be fast, the finish will be tight and the weather will be miserable, but It’ll be a thrilling affair and a fitting way to say goodbye to a memorable season on the flat.

Selection

Saturday 19th October 2019 - Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot - Imaging each-way @ 50/1

Queen Elizabeth II Stakes
Imaging silk

Imaging (EW)

lost

Lightly-raced so far this campaign, but has shown some good form when making the track, chasing home the current favourite for this at the time of writing - The Revenant - when a close second in a Group 2 contest in Germany back in May. That form has worked out well since, and with a recent run in a Group 3 likely to have sharpened him up, he can go well here at a huge price.

Today's Naps Table
Advert Disclaimer
Horseracing.net is a free online resource which endeavour to provide helpful and useful content and odds comparison to its visitors. Please be advised that Horseracing.net accepts affiliate commission from the companies appearing on the site, and agreed commission levels impact the location and order in which the companies (and/or their products) are presented on the website. Any ratings that appear on this site is determined by our subjective opinion of the brand but also based on market share and reputation, each brand's conversion rates, commission paid to us and general consumer interest. Company listings on this page don't imply our endorsement. We do not feature all providers on the market. Except as expressly set forth in our terms and conditions, all statements and warranties regarding the information presented on this page are disclaimed. The information, including odds, which appear on this site is subject to change at any time.
Bet £10 & Get £50 in Free Bets
#AD Bet £10 & Get £50 in Free Bets for new customers at bet365. Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are 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 SPTS365 can be used during registration, but does not change the offer amount in any way.
Bet £10 Get £20 + £10 Casino Bonus
#AD New UK customers (Excluding NI) mobile only. £30 in FREE Bets (FB) as £20 in sports bets & a £10 casino bonus (CB). Min stake £10. Min odds Evs. FB applied on 1st settlement of any qualifying bet. FB 7 day expiry. 1 FB offer per customer, household & IP address only. Payment restrictions. 14 days to accept £10 CB, then active for 3 days. CB 5x wagering & max redeemable £100. Game restrictions apply. Cashed out/Free Bets won’t apply. 30 days to qualify. 18+. T&Cs apply
Bet £10 Get £30 In Free Bets
#AD 18+. Play Safe. New customers using Promo code R30 only, Min £10/€10 stake,  min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 3 x £10/€10, free bets credited after settlement of first qualifying bet, free bets will expire 30 days after the qualifying bet is placed, payment method/player/country restrictions apply.
Bet £10 get £30 in Free Bets
#AD New customers on mobile only. 7 days to claim and stake £10 minimum bet at odds of 1.5 or greater to qualify. Free, void, cashed out or partially cashed out bets do not qualify. Max 3x £10 free bets credited on bet settlement. Free bets must be used on 4 or more selections with selection odds of 1.3 or greater. Free bets are non-withdrawable, and stake not returned with winnings. 7 day expiry. 18+BeGambleAware.org. T&Cs apply.
Bet £20 & Get it Back As CASH If It Loses
#AD 18+ begambleaware.org Max £20 refund on first bet. Bet must be placed in first 7 days of account opening. Only deposits made via Debit Card will be eligible for the promotion. T&Cs apply.  
Bet £10 Get £40 in Bonuses
#AD New 18+ UK customers only. Register using the promo code WELCOME40, deposit and place first bet of £10+ on Sports (cumulative Evens+) within 7 days of registration. First bet must be on Sports. £30 in Free Bets and £10 in Free Spins (50x20p) credited within 10 hours of bet settlement. Free Bet stakes are not included in any returns. Bonuses have a 7-day expiry. Payment restrictions apply. SMS verification and/or Proof of I.D and address may be required. Full T&Cs apply.
Bet £10 Get £40 In Bonuses
#AD 18+ New customers only. Opt in and place a £10 bet on Horse Racing at odds of 2.00+ within 7 days of opening a new account; excludes cashed out bets. Receive 3x £10 Horse Racing Free Bets, valid on set events only at odds 2.00+. Plus, a £10 Slot Bonus, selected games, wager 20x to withdraw a max of £250. Bonuses expire in 7 days. Card payments only. T&Cs Apply. Please Gamble Responsibly.
Money back As A Bonus Up To £40 If Your First Racing Bet Loses + £10 Casino
AD 18+ begambleaware.org. New customers only. Min deposit £10. Money back as bonus if first bet loses. Wagering requirements: sportsbook 3x at min. odds of 1.40 (2/5), casino 50x. Unless forfeited the sportsbook bonus must be wagered before using the casino bonus. Bonus expires 7 days after opt-in. No deposit required for NI customers. Call 08081699314 to claim. Full T&Cs apply.
Double the odds, any sport, any bet, any odds!
#AD 18+ begambleaware.org Only valid for new registrations to Grosvenor Existing members do not qualify, Bet must be placed using real money in combination with the Odds Boost Token, Offer applies to Sport bets only. Max stake is £10. Each way bets are a maximum of £5 each way (£10 total). Customers have 60 days after registration to use the Odds Boost token. T&Cs apply.
Bet £10 Get £10 Free Bets (APP Only)
#AD New UK, IE & Malta customers only. 18+. Min £10/€10 first deposit using Debit Card or Trustly. Place a bet of £10 at min odds of 1.5. Free bets expire in 90 days. Full T&Cs apply.
Bet £10 Get £30 Free Bets + £10 Casino Bonus
#AD 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
Bet £25 Get £50 In Bonuses
#AD Place a qualifying £25 fixed odds bet at odds of 1/2 or greater and get £50 in bonuses 5 x £5 free fixed odds bets, 4 x free £5 spread bets + 50 free spins on Starburst. Qualifying bet cannot be placed in-play or cashed out early. T&Cs Apply. 18+ begambleaware.org
£35 Free Bet + 10 Free Spins
If your account has Sportsbook losses at the end of your first day's betting, QuinnBet will refund 50% of your losses as a Free Bet up to £35 (min 3 bets) Plus 10 Free Spins. Even if your account is up, you're guaranteed a £5 Free Bet Plus 10 Free Spins provided you place at least 1 bet of £10 or greater at the minimum odds. T&Cs apply | 18+ New UK Customers Only | BeGambleAware.org
50% Up To £50 Welcome Bonus
#AD 18+ begambleaware.org; New bettors get 50% of deposit up to £50; Once per household; Min deposit £15 (no Skrill/Neteller); Wager a total of 8 times deposit + bonus, with max qualifying bet stake equal to your initial bonus amount; Bonus expires after 60 days; Min odds of 4/5 on singles, or 2/5 per leg for acca; Some bet types excluded; See full terms.
Latest racing results
Leopardstown
16:40
1stFun Fun Fun
2ndLily Du Berlais
3rdRockstown Girl
Hereford
16:33
1stOut Of Focus
2ndChevington
3rdMr Mackay
Musselburgh
16:25
1stCoral Blue
2ndI Am Gonna Be
3rdGarde Des Champs
View All Today's Results