11/12/2010 2:20PM

Ave must cope with post 16 in QE II Commemorative Cup

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Ave (5), narrow winner of last month's Flower Bowl at Belmont, is stuck far outside in an 18-horse field for Sunday's Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Cup in Japan.

Ave comes into Sunday’s $2.1 million Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Cup at Kyoto in the best form of her career. The Roger Attfield-trained Ave is fresh from a victory in the Flower Bowl Invitational at Belmont Park on Oct. 2, but has drawn unfortunately wide in a field of 18 fillies and mares going 1 3/8 miles.

Attfield had expressed a desire for a post position near the middle of the field but will have to content himself with number 16. The relatively short 1 1/2-furlong run to the first turn on Kyoto’s right-handed turf course means that Javier Castellano will have his work cut out for him finding a tracking position from where Ave does her best running.

Attfield would also have preferred a bit of give in the ground for Ave but he will not get it as the turf will be firm on Sunday, barring any unforeseen rain.

“She traveled very well from Florida and is taking in her surroundings very well,” Attfield said. “At this point everything indicates that she is well and happy. The way she strode Friday morning, she obviously likes the going. I don’t see any reasons why she won’t run a good race.”

But victory, although a distinct possibility, won’t come easy for the British-bred Ave as she will be meeting the best 3-year-old fillies from both Japan and England.

Apapane is likely to start a short-priced favorite off her victory in the 1 1/4-mile, Grade 1 Shuka Sho at Kyoto on Oct. 17. That three quarter-length score over Animate Bio made her the Japanese Fillies Triple Crown winner as she had previously landed the one-mile Japanese 1000 Guineas and the 1 1/2-mile Japanese Oaks. Masayoshi Ebina will ride the Sakae Kunida-trained Apapane.

Snow Fairy brings a pair of classic triumphs of her own to Kyoto. Trained by Ed Dunlop, Snow Fairy won both the English Oaks and the Irish Oaks at 1 1/2 miles this past summer, and while she since been second to Midday in the Yorkshire Oaks and fourth to Arctic Cosmos in the St. Leger, she is deserving of every consideration. Ryan Moore, who rode snow Fairy in both of her classic scores, will be reunited with her.

Animate Bio tries Apapane again but she is 0 for 3 lifetime against the favorite, having finished eighth in the Japanese Guineas and fourth in the Oaks. Meisho Beluga won the 1 1/2-mile, Grade 2 Kyoto Daishoten against males last month, beating Oken Bruce Lee, while Saint Emilion, who dead-heated with Apapane in the Oaks, is expected to improve off her shocking last-place finish in the Shuka Sho.

Post time for the race is 1:40 a.m. Eastern on Sunday.