Queen Anne Stakes Betting

The mile-long Queen Anne Stakes enjoys the unique distinction of being the opening race for the Royal Ascot meeting each June. It is the curtain raiser for five days of tradition, pageantry, fashion, style and great horse racing, including 18 Group races with a combined purse of £4 million on offer.

Queen Anne, of course, was the British monarch who established horseracing here some 300 years ago and opened the way for the long history of association between the Royal family and the Ascot Racecourse. It is fitting that the first race of this gala event be named in her honour.

The £250,000 Queen Anne Stakes is a Group 1 flat race for horses four years old and upwards. It takes place on the turf of Ascot’s famous straight mile. All runners carry nine stone, with allowances of three pounds for fillies and mares and one pound for Southern Hemisphere four-year-olds. Over the years, the United States, New Zealand and Australia have been keen suppliers of entries to this race.

Many of the runners here are also recent participants in the mile-long JLT Lockinge Stakes conducted in Newbury each May. Starting in 2011, both races are part of the QIPCO British Champion Series, a major new premier series of British horseracing that was launched in April at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile. After six regular season miles, it concludes in October on QIPCO British Champions Day with a brand-new event staged right here at Ascot.

In its illustrious history, the Queen Anne Stakes has witnessed many great champions. The first double winner was Flambeau in 1840-41, followed by Toastmaster in 1885-86, Worcester in 1895-96 and Dean Swift in 1906-07. However, o horse has mastered this mile twice in the past century—a testament to the high quality of the competition.

Among jockeys, Sir Gordon Richards set the bar high with six victories in the 20th century. His triumphant mounts included Sunderland in 1925, Sundry in 1927, Coldstream in 1931, Fair Trial in 1935, Pambidian in 1949, and Southborne in 1952. More recently, Frankie Dettori has challenged that record with six wins of his own. He rode to first place finishes on Markofdistinction in 1990, Allied Forces in 1997, Intikhab in 1998, Dubai Destination in 2003, Refuse to Bend in 2004 and Ramonti in 2007.

The top trainer here, Saeed bin Suroor of Dubai, has brought seven winners to the starting line. They include Charnwood Forest in 1996, Allied Forces in 1997, Intikhab in 1998, Cape Cross in 1999, Dubai Destination in 2003 and Dettori’s last two winning rides, Refuse to Bend and Ramonti. All of those horses were owned by Godolphin, the Maktoum family’s private horseracing stable for Thoroughbreds.

The tradition of top-quality horses reached a new level in 2010, with the appearance of Goldikova—the only horse ever to win three Breeders’ Cup Mile races, which was accomplished in 2008-2010. Entered as the 11/8 favourite with Olivier Peslier in the Saddle, the champion beat Queen Anne’s 2009 winner Paco Boy by a full 10 lengths and in a blazing time of 1:37.74—the second best mile ever run here after Ramonti’s incredible 1:37.21 effort three years earlier.

Expect as few as seven or as many as 16 starters at the race’s launch, with the top-rated horses to do well. The last true upset was in 2004, when Refuse to Bend paid 12/1 and favoured Six Perfections ran a dismal sixth. Four-year-olds have won all but four of the last 20 outings, but remarkably they lost three of the most recent four to five-year-olds, perhaps indicating a new trend in the making.

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