Queen Mary Stakes Betting

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Established in 1921, the £90,000 Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes is a five-furlong sprint for two-year-old fillies. The race takes place as the penultimate event on Day Two of the five-day Royal Ascot meeting in June, joining the much anticipated Group 1 Prince of Walesís Stakes worth £400,000 over ten furlongs and the mile-long Group 2 Windsor Forest Stakes, valued at £125,000.

This event takes its name from Mary of Teck (1867~1953), who was the consort of King George V. It is run on the turf of the famed Ascot Racecourse straight mile, with entry restricted to Thoroughbred fillies aged two years only. Each runner carries eight stone twelve pounds.

When the present system of race grading was applied in 1971, the Queen Mary Stakes started out at the Group 3 level. Before that time, the race had already produced its fair share of champions, not the least of which being Sun Chariot, a bay filly that got her very first win here in 1941 and went on to win the British Triple crown for Fillies the following year.

Sun Chariotís trainer was Fred Darling, who just happens to hold the record for most wins in the Queen Mary Stakes. Before she ran, Darling had already contributed five two-year-olds to the raceís roll of honour: Margeritta in 1924, Supervisor in 1932, Maureen in 1933, Caretta in 1934 and Snowberry in 1939. He also prepared Apparition for her 1946 victory, making seven winners in total.

Oddly enough, his stable jockey Sir Gordon Richards was not in the saddle for all of Darlingís successes. He missed the first one, Margeritta, because she ran before Richards joined the stable. And he was not on board Sun Chariot for the war-redirected running of the Queen Mary Stakes at Newmarket. As it turned out, military conflict had nothing to do with his missing that legendary ride. Richards had broken his leg and had to watch the race from the grandstand.

Between 1971 and 2004, when the Queen Mary Stakes was upgrade to Group 2 status, the jockeys to beat were Willie Carson, Steve Cauthen, Pat Eddery, Walter Swinburn and Michael Kinane, all with multiple victories. Trainers Henry Cecil, Sir Michael Stoute, David Elsworth, Richard Hannon and Mick Channon had repeat wins here, too.

In the past seven outings, however, no jockey and no trainer managed to dominate. Last yearís winning filly, Maqaasid, was trained by John Gosden for his first ever triumph in the Queen Mary Stakes, but the rider, Richard Hills, reclaimed a fond memory. He had piloted Nadwah to victory here back in 1997.

Unlike their handlers, Thoroughbred fillies get only one chance to win the Queen Mary Stakes. Some of them use the opportunity to shine brightly, too. In 2005, Flashy Wings showed just how aptly she was named, tearing through the five furlongs in 0:58.19ómore than a second and a half faster than the record time set in 1992. She finished a full three lengths ahead of her joint favourite, Salut DíAmour, and paid 4/1.

Although the Queen Mary Stakes is considered by many bookmakers to rank among the sprint highlights of the year, the race can be a real challenge for handicappers. The draw plays an important role in which horses do well. It is therefore important to mind pre-race field information. Look for as many as 21 starters on race day.

Also, donít ignore long odds runners. The Queen Mary Stakes can be just the right race for those who enjoy speculating on higher priced outsiders. The 2007 winner, Elletelle, paid 20/1 and 2008ís victor, Langs Lash, was worth 25/1. With the minimum stake starting at £2 to win or £1 each way, anyone can afford to take a few chances here.

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