How to bet the 2021 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes
A superb field of 10 three-year-old fillies will contest Saturday’s $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup S. (G1) at Keeneland. The prestigious turf affair will be contested over 1 1/8 miles on the green, and the race has attracted a top field of both domestic and European, contenders in what promises to be a thrilling rendition of the event.
The unbeaten #7 Lady Speightspeare has been sterling from a trio of races to date for Hall of Fame conditioner Roger Attfield. The chestnut lass led throughout in her debut waltz over the Woodbine lawn as a juvenile and followed that up with a triumph in the Natalma S. (G1) over the same course. In her 2021 bow, the filly once again led throughout en route to a facile allowance tally.
Lady Speightspeare doesn’t need the lead to win, and I love that she is drawn outside of the other pace players in the cast in advance of her second try of the season. The Charles Fipke homebred continues to train forwardly this season, and I expect her to sit a perfect voyage around the oval with regular pilot Emma-Jayne Wilson in the stirrups once again.
#4 Empress Josephine made a fine impression when an excellent third in the First Lady S. (G1) on the course while making her U.S. debut. The blue-blooded daughter of Galileo is a Group 1 winner who will appreciate the drop in with sophomores after facing a fine field of elders most recently, and she will also don blinkers for the first time on Saturday.
The Aidan O’Brien pupil is battle tested after facing standout fields in five straight races, and if she improves off of her latest endeavor, then she will be tough to hold off late with John Velazquez retaining the mount.
Conditioner Chad Brown has a pair of graded-stakes winners in the cast, including recent Jockey Club Oaks vixen #3 Shantisara. The Irish-bred daughter of Coulsty did enjoy a favorable trip in her recent triumph, but her ascension has been obvious since she arrived in the U.S. The versatile bay will be hard to hold off late if she gets another good trip with Prat in the silks.
I will base my plays around the trio of aforementioned fillies.
- $15 win and place #7 Lady Speightspeare ($30)
- $10 exacta box 4-7 ($20)
- 50-cent trifecta 4, 7 with 3, 4, 7 with all ($16)