Honour, Anamoe set up epic Queen Elizabeth stoush

It’s going to be a Queen Elizabeth Stakes for the ages – within the space of 40 minutes at Rosehill on Saturday UK raider Dubai Honour announced his arrival with a rout in the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) then Australia’s star Anamoe defied a wide run to make it nine Group 1s in the George Ryder Stakes (1500m).

Dubai Honour continued UK trainer William Haggas' amazing strike rate in Sydney notching his seventh win and fourth at Group 1 level as he turned the Ranvet Stakes into a one horse race, cruising to a 4-1/2 length win over Montefilia with a length to Mo'unga in third.

Haggas will be chasing his third win in the $5 million Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) on Day 2 of The Star Championships following Addeybb's dual success in 2020 and 2021 and he said Dubai Honour's return to form was both a relief and a thrill.

"He is a smart horse but in England during 2022, it wasn't his best,'' Haggas said.

"He had a great year in 2021 but he wasn't quite himself last year. But he had a very, very good winter and I have been really happy with him.

"He seemed to be back to his old self and that was great to see him win like that."

Dubai Honour moved to $3 with TAB in all-in Queen Elizabeth betting behind Anamoe who retains favouritism at $2.50 and it's going to be a match up talked about for the next three weeks.

Haggas won the 2020 Ranvet with Addeybb but due to the Covid pandemic he hasn't been able to be in Sydney to witness his now retired star's heroics – he certainly plans to be at Randwick on April 8.

He said the warm weather in Sydney in recent weeks had concerned him but elected to run the gelding as the race has proven to be a perfect lead up to the Queen Elizabeth.

"I was very much worried about the track,'' Haggas said.

"But they assured me the track was on the five side of a good 4 and Chris Waller told me the track was fantastic.

"So we decided to gamble and run and that was a great result."

Jockey Ryan Moore said Dubai Honour won the Ranvet brimming with confidence and felt the race was won very early in the straight and given it was his first run since October there can only be improvement.

"He had very good form as a three-year-old and last year things didn't quite go his way and William (Haggas) gelded him,'' Moore said.

"William's horses when they come down here they tend to perform very well. He was a level above them really, class told.

"He picked them up well, the race was dead with 1 1⁄2 f to run. Very good performance and I'm very happy with him."

What the beaten jockeys said:

Dylan Gibbons (Montefilia): "Gallant in defeat. Will take a lot of benefit from that."

Nash Rawiller (Mo'unga): "I found him hard to get focused most of the way. Tried to get him up on the bridle from the half mile. He is a big bull going through one of those stages at the moment."

Mark Zahra (Gold Trip): "A bit sharp for him today at 1 1⁄4 m on firm ground."

Michael Dee (Bankers Choice): "Back to a handicap with a light weight I think will be right up his alley."

Hugh Bowman (El Bodegon): "I thought he was entitled to do more to be honest."

James McDonald (Hinged): "She boxed on well. Had a lovely time out in front. Tried hard."

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