Trainer Chris Waller is slightly concerned that Libran has been asked to carry the top weight in the Group 3 $300,000 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Top English jockey Ryan Moore takes over from the suspended Hugh Bowman on Libran who has been lumped with 58kg and will jump from gate four in the fourteen horse Queen Elizabeth Stakes field.
Bowman has been aboard Libran for his last three outings including a last start third with 56kg behind Ventura Storm and Trap For Fools in the Group 2 $500,000 McCafe Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m) at The Valley on October 27.
“He carries the top weight but there is only a 4kg spread so hopefully it is not going to disadvantage us too much, however over a long distance I certainly do respect weights.” Waller said.
“This horse is well and his runs have all been good this preparation even though the barrier draws have been against him.”
“Last start saw him have to come from a long way back at Moonee Valley with a long sustained run and he might have just peaked 100m out, but he still ran creditably.”
“Ryan Moore takes over from the suspended Hugh Bowman and it is great to have Ryan aboard, as he is a very strong and astute rider.”
It’s been over twelve months since Libran has visited the winner’s circle with his last victory being in the Group 3 $150,000 Kingston Town Stakes (2000m) at Randwick during the 2017 Sydney Spring Carnival.
Libran has been listed as an $8 chance for the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au and Waller will also saddle up $16 shot Casterton who has drawn barrier thirteen with Corey Brown in the saddle.
Brown replaces Michael Walker who was aboard the French import for his Australian debut when sixth to Runaway in the Group 3 $350,000 Geelong Cup (2400m) at Geelong on October 24.
The Lindsay Park trained Jaameh is the current $4.80 favourite ahead of the well supported Midterm at $6.50 and Darren Weir’s Gallic Chieftain at $7.50.