Coronation Cup

Eclipster: Rhododendron could bloom in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot

Tuesday 19th June, 2:30 – Royal Ascot – 1m (Str) Queen Anne Stakes (Group 1) (British Champions Series) (Class 1) (4yo+)

The Queen Anne Stakes was first run in 1840 and for the early part of its history it was known as the Trial Stakes and was open to horses aged three and older. Its name was changed in 1930 to its current title in honour of Queen Anne who was the founder of Ascot Racecourse. The race achieved Group 3 status in 1971 and was elevated to Group 2 in 1894. In 2003 it was given Group 1 status at which point the minimum age for participating horses was raised to four. It is now the first race on the opening day of Royal Ascot.

The Queen Anne Stakes is a very strong race from a statistical perspective. Since the race was promoted to Group 1 status in 2003 the 15 renewals have been won by four- and five year old horses exclusively. Four year olds having won 10 times with five year olds winning on five occasions.

The betting has been a significant factor in recent renewals of the race as since 1995 only one winner has started outside of the top four in the betting and won.

A recent run is another key attribute for winning the Queen Anne Stakes as only one of the last 12 winners were making their seasonal reappearance (Tornado in 2012). Six of the 11 also won one their previous start and nine of the 12 winners ran with 31 days of the race, with eight of the last 12 winners previously winning earlier in the season. A previous run at Ascot is not a prerequisite as only four of the last 12 winners had previously run at the course. Interestingly all four had won at the track.

Previous winning form is a very important factor as 11 of the last 12 winners had previously won over 1 mile and nine of the last 12 winners had won at least five times previously, although not necessarily over 1 mile.

An Official Rating of at least 116 has been required to win the race on eight of the last 12 occasions. Previous Group 1 winning form is a very important factor as since the race was upgraded to Group 1 status in 2003, thirteen of the fifteen winners had won at Group 1 level earlier in their careers.

Godolphin have won the race the race on eight occasions between 1996 and 2017 with main trainer Saeed Bin Suroor saddling seven winners, although he last won the race in 2007.

Aidan O’Brien has won the Queen Anne Stakes three times since 2006 and has a very interesting runner in the shape of Rhododendron. The four year old Bay Filly won the Group 1 Lockinge Stakes at Newbury on her last start and since 1980 the winner of the Lockinge has gone on to win the Queen Anne Stakes on 20 occasions.

Only two fillies have won the race in the last 44 years but Rhododendron stayed on well at Newbury to beat the boys mounting a strong challenge inside the final 2 furlongs keeping on well to get up in the shadow of the post to win by a short head. She won the race in Good to Firm ground which she will be running over at Ascot over the straight course which is similar to Newbury. Ryan Moore has elected to ride her over the other O’Brien runner in the race and in seven rides aboard her he has won three times.

Please note: tips are followed at your own risk. Please gamble responsibly.  

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