The Queen Mary Stakes is normally the first race on the second day of Royal Ascot but has switched to Saturday in 2020, and is one of the contests at the meeting in which the juvenile performers take centre stage. It may only be run over a sprint trip but can actually prove to be a fairly stiff test, due to the crowds (ordinarily), the weather and the age of the competitors.
The Queen Mary Stakes has been improved in more recent times for the number of international trainers who enter their most promising fillies in the contest. Lady Aurelia, the 2016 winner, is one of those to have kicked on to enjoy success at the very top level, while it’s also noticeable how many big name jockeys have claimed the prize.
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.
Last Run: 20th June 2020
- Winner: Campanelle
- SP: 9/2
- Trainer: Wesley A Ward
- Jockey: Frankie Dettori
Typically a well-attended race, this year is no different with 20 declared sprinters in the mix. Things will dry out a little in the hours before the race but soft ground is the forecast after recent downpours. None the less, at 5f long, this will still remain a test of speed.
|Going||Distance||Grade||Prize Money||Runners||EW Terms|
|Soft||5f||Group 2||£50,000||20||1/5 1-3|
Queen Mary Stakes Betting Tips
Note: The following tips are from 2020. Tips for the next renewal will be added once the final declarations have been made.
The numbers that attend this race have long made it a fairly challenging one to call but the odds have generally served as a useful guide. Since 2009, we have had seven winners who posted a single-digit price, something only shared by three members of this year’s field.
As a strictly two year old affair, featuring horses with limited experience, other meaningful trends are not in great supply. We are intrigued however, by the fact 15 of the last 18 Queen Anne champions were foaled between January and March. An extra couple of months of development has regularly proved vital yet this year, the top two in the betting were both born in April. Is that reason to look past them?
In terms of jockey and trainer trends the leading people with this regards this race both did their damage in the 1930s and 1940s, often together. More recently Wesley Ward has been a handler to watch, taking this twice in the last five years, whilst in terms of the jockeys Frankie Dettori has been victorious twice in the last four.
|More Beautiful||2/1||18||Aidan O'Brien||Ryan Moore|
|Sacred||6/1||5||William Haggas||James Doyle|
|Star Of Emaraaty||33/1||8||Kevin Ryan||Kevin Stott|
More Beautiful (2/1)
A very promising debut has pushed More Beautiful to the top of the Queen Mary Stakes betting. Many fancied Aidan O’Brien’s filly to do the business at Naas and how she did not disappoint. Taking a keen hold early on, Seamie Heffernan moved into first place two furlongs out before launching an unstoppable attack to take glory in real style.
It was all too comfortable for the two-year-old who is more than ready for a shot on a better stage. Her credentials are strong but it is worth mentioning that despite the masses of success O’Brien has enjoyed, he has seldom impressed in this race. In fact, the Irishman has failed to win it even once, not something you get too say very often. This clearly might be his year but there could well be decent reasons for his lack of success in a contest like this and that might concern some.
Another filly that impressed on her debut is William Haggas’ Sacred. Making her first appearance at Newmarket earlier this month, the daughter of Exceed and Excel travelled very strongly indeed. Benefitting from plenty of pace and power under the saddle, James Doyle led the charge down the final furlong and there was nobody that could keep up.
While the time she registered was a touch on the slow side, despite slick conditions, the two-year-old could have taken the initiative earlier on if needed. Strengthening her claim is the fact that Haggas has a decent strike rate with two year olds, particularly this season, where his total stands as four wins from seven (as of Thursday).
Star Of Emaraaty (33/1)
For those of you looking much further down the betting for an each way gamble in this race, we have identified one horse that should tick the bill very nicely at really big odds, Star Of Emaraaty. The February-foaled filly enjoyed a solid debut at Haydock, finishing runner-up in a field of seven.
That effort came over six furlongs but a drop down in trip is likely to suit as it was only in the closing stages when she began to tail off. She did not display rapid pace in Merseyside but Ascot’s long uphill straight is far from the quickest track in the land. Slightly steadier horses can do well here especially when conditions are soft like they are set to be this Saturday. 33/1 offers real value that is for sure.
Queen Mary Stakes Winners
|2020||Campanelle||9/2||Wesley Ward||Frankie Dettori|
|2019||Raffle Prize||18/1||Mark Johnston||Frankie Dettori|
|2018||Signora Cabello||25/1||John Quinn||Oisin Murphy|
|2017||Heartache||5/1||Clive Cox||Adam Kirby|
|2016||Lady Aurelia||2/1f||Wesley Ward||Frankie Dettori|
|2015||Acapulco||5/2f||Wesley Ward||Ryan Moore|
|2014||Anthem Alexander||9/4f||Edward Lynam||Pat Smullen|
|2013||Rizeena||6/1||Clive Brittain||James Doyle|
|2012||Ceiling Kitty||20/1||Tom Dascombe||Richard Kingscote|
|2011||Best Terms||12/1||Richard Hannon Snr.||Richard Hughes|
About the Queen Mary Stakes
The Queen Mary Stakes gives young female sprinters a chance to show what they can do on a big stage. The five furlong test is open exclusively to two year old fillies and it is far from unusual to see 20+ of them gunning for glory. Headlines are always made by the winning horse with plenty of attention given to the opening race on day two of Royal Ascot (run on day five in 2020).
At the time the race was established in 1921, Queen Mary sat beside King George on the throne. The race served to honour her name and so far it has survived the test of time. It initially received Group 3 status when the current system of race grading was first introduced but has been at Group 2 level since 2004.
WATCH OUT FOR WARD
Should American trainer Wesley Ward submit an entry for the Queen Mary Stakes, you are wise to take it seriously. On four previous occasions since 2009, the former jockey has been responsible for the winning horse in this contest. Increasingly often, his entry has topped the betting with the bookies clearly aware of the talent he has training young mares. Ward isn’t one to make the journey to Ascot for the sake of it so you shouldn’t be surprised if we see another American horse triumph here. Here’s how impressively Ward has fared in recent renewals:
Having looked at the above chart you may be wondering what happened to the well fancied Chelsea Cloisters in the 2018 renewal. The bay filly was slow to find her stride, a crucial problem it turned out with Ward stating afterwards he trains his horses to go from the front.
APPROACHING A CENTURY
In 2021, the Queen Mary Stakes will celebrate its 100th renewal. The Second World War prevented the race from running in 1940 but this is the only year the event hasn’t featured. Throughout much of the conflict the five furlong contest relocated to Newmarket while in 2005 it moved to York as redevelopment went ahead at Ascot. Aside from this, the Queen Mary has always run at its usual home and it looks set to continue as valued part of the Royal Ascot meeting.
UPSETS NOT UNCOMMON
The favourite has won three Queen Mary renewals in a row from 2014-16 but it is a race that has been no stranger to an unexpected result. In fact there has been enough in the past that it no longer creates much of a gasp among people discovering the race result. From 2000 to 2020 we had seven winners priced who set off at a double digit price, fillies you can fairly call unfancied outsiders. These ‘surprises’ can be found in the chart below, serving as a reminder not to neglect options further down the betting for future renewals.