Princess Elizabeth Stakes Betting

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One of the most important meetings of the British flat racing season is the annual Investec Derby Festival held in early June at Epsom Downs. The two-day gathering features the Epsom Derby on the second day, but preliminary to that is Investec Ladies’ Day when a full card of exciting races are conducted, including the £50,000 Princess Elizabeth Stakes.

This Group event for Thoroughbred fillies and mares aged three years and older covers a distance of one mile and 114 yards on the left-handed turf of the famous Epsom Downs Racecourse. The youngest runners carry a weight of eight stone eight pounds, while those aged four years and up must handle nine-stone-six. Penalties are applied to entries successful in races held since 31st August of the previous year, amounting to seven pounds for Group 1 winners, five pounds for Group 2 winners and three pounds for Group 3 winners.

Inaugurated in 1995, this event was not the first at Epsom Downs to bear the name Princess Elizabeth Stakes. An earlier version was conducted here each April exclusively for three-year-old fillies as a trial for the Epsom Oaks. It was moved to Kempton Park in 1991 and discontinued the following year.

For its first running, this race was known as the Victress Stakes. From the very start, its title sponsor was Vodaphone (previously known as Vodac or Vodacall) and the event was classified at the Listed level. The name change came in 2001, and the upgrade to Group 3 status occurred in 2004. In 2009, Vodaphone ended its long relationship with the Princess Elizabeth Stakes and Investec has been the sponsor ever since.

One of the greatest Thoroughbreds to run here was Echelon, a bay mare trained by Sir Michael Stoute that won back-to-back in 2006-07. Echelon also succeeded in the Group 2 Celebration Stakes and the Group 1 Matron Stakes as part of her nine career victories before retirement at the end of the 2007 season.

More recently, Echlon’s double was duplicated by Antara in 2010-11. This bay mare of German origin is trained by Saeed bin Suroor and ridden by Frankie Dettori. She has already rocked the racing world with seven wins, two seconds and five thirds in her first fifteen starts.

The Godolphin duo of bin Suroor and Dettori is a force to be reckoned with at the Princess Elizabeth Stakes. Together they have combined for five triumphs here, including Fairy Queen in 1999, Gonfilia in 2004 and Sundrop in 2005 before their success with Antara.

Of those five winners, all but one—Fairy Queen—were running as favourites. Gonfilia paid 11/10; Sundrop came home at evens in a race contested by only three starters; and Antara paid 15/8 and 11/8, respectively. Bookmakers have done quite well at predicting winners from stables other than Godolphin, too. In 2000, they chose Golden Silca correctly at 11/4, and they had it right with Echelon on both occasions, paying 15/8 and 7/4, respectively.

No entry older than five has won this event since Neither Nor came in first at age six in the 1995 opener. Three-year-olds have put up a trio of wins here, but none since 2002. It has been up to the four-year-olds to populate the winner’s enclosure since then, with seven victories in nine years and the only five-year-olds to win being the two repeat victors.

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