It’s hard to pick out a standout contest on British Champions Day at Ascot, but if the list of recent winners is anything top go by, there is certainly a case to be made that this one-mile event is the best of the lot. French star Solow, Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Ravens Pass, wonder filly Minding and the greatest of all time Frankel all feature on the roll of honour in the past decade alone.
We have plenty holding their ground this year in what looks set to be one of the most intriguing contests of the day. The big field and tough ground look likely to set this up for a strong finisher, and as such it will be our pick of the hold-up performers who carries our cash here.
Next Race: TBD
The next renewal of this race has not been scheduled yet. We will update this once the schedule has been released for next season. The race info, trends and tips shown below will be updated for the next renewal once the final declarations have been made.
A whopping £1,100,000 in total prize money is up for grabs in this Group 1, one-mile contest, which is set to be run on heavy ground this year, bringing the stamina of the contenders very much into play.
|Going||Distance||Grade||Prize Money||Runners||EW Terms|
|Heavy||1m||Group 1||£1,100,000||16 Runners||1/5 1-3|
Queen Elizabeth II Stakes Betting Tips
Note: The following tips are from the last running of the race. Tips for the next renewal will be added once the final declarations have been made.
Fairly bottomless ground conditions can often lead to relatively small fields, but that doesn’t appear to be the case in this race this year, with 16 standing their ground at the time of writing. With high class challengers from Britain, Ireland and France, this looks set to be a real thriller.
REVE ALL THE RAVE
If an ability to handle the underfoot conditions is to be taken as the number one pre-requisite for success, then one of the most obvious places to start here is with the big gamble of the race, The Revenant.
This French raider has overall form figures of 321111 on soft or worse going and heads into the race unbeaten in his last six starts overall. Very impressive when slamming the useful Olmedo last time out at Longchamp, he goes in the hands of Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winning jockey Pierre-Charles Boudot and looks set to go well. This will admittedly be his first effort in Group 1 company, but he has taken every other step up in class in his stride and is well worth his place in the line-up.
GLITTERS FOR GOLD?
Of the home team the horse with possibly the most solid credentials considering the conditions is the David O’Meara runner, Lord Glitters. A dual course and distance winner – including in this years Queen Anne Stakes at the Royal Meeting, he also goes particularly well with ease underfoot. Form figures of 22111126 on soft or worse suggest that he may well have his optimum conditions here.
The now six year old has underwhelmed a little in his past two efforts, but to beaten only four lengths by Japan over a trip too far last time out wasn’t too bad a run, and with that effort having come back in August, he will arrive here fresher than many. As a hold up performer, he is always going to need the splits when he needs them, but looks likely to go close under Danny Tudhope if getting the rub of the green.
GUINEAS 1-2 TO CALL THE SHOTS?
As a Group 1 contest over a mile, the form of both the 1000 and 2000 Guineas does tend to be strongly represented in this race, and that’s the case once again this year, with the first and second from the colts’ classic set to go to post. 2000 Guineas winner Magna Grecia merits plenty of respect, but he did bomb out in the Irish version on his next start. That was reportedly down to a pulled hamstring, and the fact that he hasn’t been seen at the track since suggests he probably did have an excuse on the day. That does still leave him with something of a question to answer as to his current wellbeing though.
The horse to finish second to him at HQ has no such qualms having recently returned to the track in a Listed contest at Sandown. Whilst those in behind him possibly weren’t the strongest stayers, it was still a decent effort from King Of Change to see them off close home on what was his first run since May. Highly likely to handle conditions on pedigree, he is the one horse in the race who we most likely haven’t seen the best of yet.
Final Verdict: Lord Glitters To Win
Overall this looks a highly competitive renewal, and a race in which few can be confidently ruled out. The Revenant does boast obvious claims, but looks too short in the betting now. Of the Guineas duo, King Of Change makes more appeal, but likewise the fancy prices about him seem to be gone now.
The one we like best is Lord Glitters. He would be older than a typical winner of this, but the fact that this was the season in which he finally won a first Group 1 would suggest he is at the peak of his powers at present. With no qualms regarding the track, trip or going, he looks a solid option.
Queen Elizabeth II Stakes Winners
It is the three year olds who have held the edge in this race in the past 10 years with the Classic generation recording seven wins, compared to three for the older runners.
John Gosden bids to become the first trainer in the history of the race to land the prize three years in succession. Following the wins of Persuasive and Roaring Lion, Gosden sends King Of Comedy into battle this time around.
|2018||Roaring Lion||2/1||John Gosden||Oisin Murphy|
|2017||Persuasive||8/1||John Gosden||Frankie Dettori|
|2016||Minding||7/4||Aidan O’Brien||Ryan Moore|
|2015||Solow||11/10||Freddy Head||Maxime Guyon|
|2014||Charm Spirit||5/1||Freddy Head||Olivier Peslier|
British Champions Day has quickly become one of the most important and anticipated days in the flat racing season. Each of the five races that take place on the big day at Ascot are hugely valuable but only the Champion Stakes and the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes have total prize money in excess of £1 million.
The Queen Elizabeth II Stakes is the fourth race of the day at British Champions Day and the final of the Mile Series. It’s open to all horses aged three and older but winning a place in the Group 1 contest is subject to performance in the races which precede it: the 2000 Guineas, the Lockinge Stakes, the Queen Anne Stakes, the St James’s Palace Stakes, the Sussex Stakes and the Sun Chariot Stakes.
THE MILERS’ PINNACLE
The Mile Series really kicks off with the first Classics of the season. The sort of performance required to win the 1000 and 2000 Guineas has tended to favour specialist milers over the sort of horses who go on to have success at one and a half miles or longer. By the time we get to the closing stages of the season those who compete in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes have already shown that one mile is their ideal trip and it always takes a performance of the highest calibre to win.
The very best horses to have won the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes have stepped up to win at longer trips but even the great Frankel did his best work over 1 mile so this is very much a contest for those with the tools for the job over 8 furlongs.
It’s also tended to be a race for younger horses. Just a handful of horses aged older than five have won in the last few years and not a single six-year-old in the race’s history.
Part of the reason for that is that horses tend to step up in trip as they age. Four and five-year-olds who have stuck around at one mile and continue to win big races should be considered as well as members of the Classic generation who ran well in either of the Guineas and sometimes even in the Derby and the Oaks.
PLENTY OF LIFE BEFORE 2011
The races which make up British Champions Day all took a major boost to their already strong reputations when it was introduced. The Queen Elizabeth II Stakes was one of the few that already held Group 1 status before 2011 having built up a lot of prestige since being introduced in 1955.
The promotion from the Group 2 level that it was initially given in 1971 came in 1987. That hammered home the importance of this race as if it were needed and it stepped up a notch in 2008 when it was added to the Breeders’ Cup Challenge, offering a spot in the Breeders’ Cup Mile. It is no longer part of that series as of 2012 but it became an even more valuable prospect for trainers and owners in 2011 when the prize find was quadrupled to a cool £1 million.
Big name horses, jockeys and trainers will continue to thrill racing fans during the race known as the QEII but its records are historic and may well last the test of time. The only two horses to win the race twice – Brigadier Gerard and Rose Bowl – did so in the 1970s whilst Willie Carson is the most successful jockey with the last of his eight wins coming in 1995.
The record wins for trainers and owners are, however, more recent with Saeed bin Suroor and Godolphin holding those honours respectively.