Dubai Turf winner Vivlos favored in Queen Elizabeth II Cup

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November 10th, 2017

Dubai Turf (G1) winner Vivlos seeks another grade one victory when she contests the 2,200-meter (about 1 3/8-mile) Queen Elizabeth II Cup (G1) for fillies and mares at Kyoto Nov. 12.

Vivlos (Deep Impact), the winner of last year’s Shuka Sho (G1), the third leg of the fillies triple crown in Japan, went to Dubai and beat Ribchester, the subsequent three-time group one-winning miler in Europe, into third place in the 1,800-meter (about nine furlongs) Dubai Turf.

She’s run just once since then, finishing second in the 1,800-meter Ireland Trophy Fuchu Himba Stakes (G2) behind race-rival Crocosmia (Stay Gold). Vivlos has drawn the inside gate in the 18-horse field.

Class mare Mikki Queen (Deep Impact) will have freshness on her side when she lines up. She hasn’t run since the 2,200-meter Takarazuka Kinen (G1) against the males in June, when she finished third to Satono Crown. Her trainer Yasutoshi Ikee said she was working well.

The best of the 3-year-old fillies may well be Deirdre (Harbinger). She has been getting better as the season progresses and won the Shuka Sho (G1) in fine style. She should enjoy the extra furlong here. There has also been strong support for another Harbinger 3-year-old, Shuka Sho third-place finisher Mozu Katchan, and the Shuka Sho runner-up Lys Gracieux (Heart’s Cry).

Another with good support is the 5-year-old mare Rouge Buck (Manhattan Café). She seemed to have lost form but returned in style with a victory in the 2,200-meter Sankei Sho All Comers (G2) at Nakayama in September. Part of her appeal is no doubt the fact that champion European jockey Ryan Moore is flying in to take the mount.

Veteran mare Smart Layer (Deep Impact) comes into the race having won the Kyoto Daishoten (G2), while the defending champion Queens Ring (Manhattan Café) lines up after finishing fourth in the Ireland Trophy Fuchu Himba Stakes after getting agitated at the start.