The $5million Group I ATC Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) is the jewel in the crown of The Championships at Randwick and produced a thrilling renewal with local hero Anamoe relegated to third in his final start in Australia with victory going to Irish bred raider Dubai Honour (5g Pride of Dubai x Mondelice, by Montjeu).
The William Haggas trained son of Pride of Dubai put the writing on the wall when scoring a commanding win in the Group I ATC Ranvet Stakes at Rosehill last month at his first Australian start and delivered another peak performance.
Ridden by Tom Marquand, Dubai Honour stalked Anamoe in the run while Japanese raider Unicorn Lion set the tempo.
Anamoe and James McDonald set out in pursuit at the top of the rise, but the pair were outgunned by Dubai Honour, who powered to the lead to win by two and a half lengths with Mo’Unga charging late to grab second relegating Anamoe to third.
William Haggas won the Queen Elizabeth Stakes in 2020 and 2021 with Adeyybb (GB), so is no stranger to success in this race although it was the first time he has made the trip to witness the victory.
“He relaxed very well and I knew when he relaxed well he would pick up and he picked up well. Anamoe is a great horse, take nothing away from him, but this horse has come forward for being here and he’s won well today,” Haggas said.
“Don’t underestimate him, he’s a pretty good horse. He was never quite right last year, he was boxing against some good horses, top, top horses.
“The horse is in a great frame of mind, he looks great. I couldn’t be more thrilled.”
Hong Kong is likely to be the next stop for Dubai Honour before he returns to the UK.
“We’re very keen to go to Hong Kong now on the way home and run him at the end of April in the QEII,” Haggas added.
“Then we’ll take him back to England and regroup. As far as I’m concerned he’s done his job today (Saturday).”
Purchased for 110,000 guineas at the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale by Rabbah Bloodstock, Dubai Honour is a multiple Group II winner in France and been placed at Group I level in the UK and has the overall record of six wins and four seconds from 17 starts. Dubai Honour is the first winner for Mondelice, an unraced half-sister by Montjeu to Frankel’s globetrotting Group III winner Last Kingdom.
Dubai Honour is the best of 18 stakes-winners worldwide for Pride of Dubai, who is enjoying a serious purple patch this year with a string of recent Group and stakes-winners including She’s Fit, Sirileo Miss, Desert Lightning and Maharba.
– Coolmore Australia