The History of the Queen Anne Stakes

Good Evening!

Welcome to a Monday evening blog post here at With Royal Ascot starting tomorrow I have a week of posts coming up. Each day of this week I will be posting a history post for a randomly picked Group 1 race the following day, ending the week on Saturday morning with a very interesting post about a record breaking jockey! So without further ado, let’s get into today’s post.

The Queen Anne Stakes is a Group 1 flat race which started in 1840 and is ran at Ascot Racecourse over 1 mile, it takes place in June of each year and is open to horses who are aged four or older. In 2020 the race was worth £245,925 with the winner receiving £148,000.

When the race was established in 1840, it was called the Trial Stakes and was originally open to horses aged three or older. It was in 1930 that this changed, when it was renamed in honour of Queen Anne who was the founder of Ascot Racecourse. In 1971 it was classed as a Group 3 race and in 1984 it was promoted to a Group 2 race. It was only in 2003 that it was given Group 1 status and the minimum age was raised to four years old or older.

So let’s take a look at some early winners in the race, starting with the first ever winner, Flambeau, who won in 1840 and again the following year in 1841. Toastmaster was the next horse to win the race multiple times when winning in 1885 and 1886, with Worcester following in his footsteps when winning in 1895 and 1896 and Dean Swift winning the race in 1906 and 1907.

Moving into more recent times, you have Lester Piggott winning the race in 1972 on board four year old Sparkler for trainer Robert Armstrong and owner Maria Mehl-Mulhens. In 1974 the first 3 past the post, Confusion, Gloss and Royal Prerogative were all disqualified meaning the fourth past the post four year old Brook won the race for jockey Brian Taylor, trainer Mario Benetti and owner Carlo Vittadini. In 1975 three year old Imperial March won the race under Gianfranco Dettori for Vincent O’Brien and Walter Mullady. However jockey Brian Taylor would return to the winners enclosure in 1976 and 1977. In 1996 he won on board six year old Ardoon for trainer Gavin Pritchard-Gordon and owner Frank Feeney and in 1977 he won on board four year old Jellaby for trainer Ryan Price and owner Esa Alkhalifa.

Lester Piggott then dominated the race over the next few years. In 1979 he won on board three year old Baptism for Jeremy Tree and Jock Whitney. In 1981 he won on board four year old Belmont Bay for Henry Cecil and Daniel Wildenstein. In 1982 he won on three year old Mr Fluorocarbon for Henry Cecil and James McAllister. And in 1984 he won on board three year old Trojan Fen for Henry Cecil and Stavros Niarchos.

Moving forward a few years there is then Frankie Dettori winning the race for the first time in 1990 on board four year old Markofdistinction for Luca Cumani and Gerald Leigh. In 1992 Willie Carson won on board four year old Lahib for John Dunlop and Hamdan Al Maktoum before Michael Kinane went on t win multiple times. Firstly in 1993 on board four year old Alflora for Clive Brittain and Circlechart Ltd, again in 1994 on board four year old Barathea for Luca Cumani and Sheikh Mohammed and again in 1996 on board four year old Charnwood Forest for Saeed bin Suroor and Godolphin.

Starting with the 1996 race, Saeed bin Suroor and Godolphin dominated the race for many years. In 1997 they won with four year old Allied Forces with Frankie Dettori riding, again in 1998 with four year old Intikhab with Frankie Dettori riding again and winning again in 1999 with five year old Cape Cross rode by Gary Stevens.

The next three years would be won by trainer Sir Michael Stoute, firstly in 2000 with four year old Klanisi who was rode by Kieren Fallon for HH Aga Khan IV, in 2001 with four year old Medicean who was also rode by Kieren Fallon, this time for Cheveley Park Stud and again in 2002 with four year old No Excuse Needed who was rode by Johnny Murtagh for Maktoum Al Maktoum.

Jumping forward a few years, in 2006 Aidan O’Brien won the race for the first time with four year old Ad Valorem who was rode by Kieren Fallon for Magnier / Ingham.

In 2012 we seen the brilliant Frankel go on to win the race at four years old for Tom Queally, Sir Henry Cecil and Khalid Abdullah. Followed by four year old Declaration of War in 2013 for Joseph and Aidan O’Brien and owners Magnier / Tabor.

The most recent winners include four year old Accidental Agent in 2018 for Charlie Bishop, Eve Johnson Houghton and Gaie Johnson Houghton, six year old Lord Glitters in 2019 for Daniel Tudhope, David O’Meara and Geoff and Sandra Turnbull. With the most recent winner being four year old Circus Maximus in 2020 for Ryan Moore, Aidan O’Brien and Flaxman / Magnier / Tabor / Smith.

Now onto some records. Starting with the most successful horses, all of whom have won the race twice. We have Flambeau who won in 1840 and 1841, Toastmaster who won in 1885 and 1886, Worcester who won in 1895 and 1896 and finally Dean Swift who won in 1906 and 1907.

Onto the leading jockey and we actually see two jockeys with six victories each.

Sir Gordon Richards: Sunderland (1925), Sundry (1927), Coldstream (1931), Fair Trial (1935), Pambidian (1949) and Southborne (1952).

Frankie Dettori: Markofdistinction (1990), Allied Forces (1997), Intikhab (1998), Dubai Destination (2003), Refuse to Bend (2004) and Ramonti (2007)

Next up is the leading trainer in this race and with 7 victories this goes to Saeed bin Suroor who has won with Charnwood Forest (1996), Allied Forces (1997), Intikhab (1998), Cape Cross (1999), Dubai Destination (2003), Refuse to Bend (2004) and Ramonti (2007).

The final record is the leading owner in this race and with 8 wins, this is Godolphin who has won with Charnwood Forest (1996), Allied Forces (1997), Intikhab (1998), Cape Cross (1999), Dubai Destination (2003), Refuse to Bend (2004), Ramonti (2007) and Ribchester (2017).

So, some things to note for this years renewal… (Please note all odds are correct via Ladbrokes at the time of writing this post 7pm on June 13th 2021).

Frankie Dettori is on the current favourite Palace Pier for trainers John and Thady Gosden and owner Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum who is currently 4/11 – Meaning if he wins this years renewal he will become the clear leading jockey of this race with 7 wins.

Two previous winners are entered into this race. 2018 winner Accidental Agent for jockey Charles Bishop, trainer Eve Johnson Houghton and owner Mrs R F Johnson Houghton who is now 7 years old and currently 66/1. And the second being Lord Glitters for jockey Daniel Tudhope, trainer David O’Meara and owners Geoff and Sandra Turnbull who is now 8 years old and is currently 22/1. If either of these horses win, they will join the list of the most successful horses with 2 wins each.

So with all of that being said… Who do you like the look of in this years Royal Ascot opener, the renewal of the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes? Let me know over on Twitter! I hope you all enjoyed this one and I will see you tomorrow evening at 6pm for ‘The History of the Prince of Wales’s Stakes’.

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