There are a few Group 2 events spread throughout the Royal Ascot meeting, with the Queen Mary Stakes being the second that racegoers will get to watch. It takes place on the second day of the meeting, with the Coventry Stakes being the first one and run on the Tuesday. The Queen Mary Stakes takes place over five furlongs on the straight and, unlikely the Coventry Stakes, which is open to horses of either gender, the Queen Mary Stakes is limited to two-year-old fillies. There is weight information of nine stone two pounds, with no allowances given as a result.
First run in 1921, the Queen Mary Stakes is a relatively young event at Royal Ascot; though there are, of course, much younger races run during the meeting too. As is so often the case, no jockey has managed more wins than Sir Gordon Richards, whilst Fred Darling is the standout trainer thanks to the seven victories that he racked up between 1924 and 1946. All but two of them came with Richards riding the horse, telling you everything you need to know about the relationship between the two. All of Supervisor, Maureen, Caretta, Snowberry and Apparition won thanks to this combo.
As you might well imagine, the Queen Mary Stakes is named after Queen Mary, who was the consort of King George V. Mary of Teck, or Victoria Mary Augusta Louise Olga Pauline Claudine Agnes, to give her her full name, was born on the 26th of May 1867 and died on the 24th of March 1953. She became Queen Consort in 1910 when George became the monarch and the race was created and named in her honour 11 years later. The inaugural event was won by a horse named Wild Mint. The shape of the British Empire changed dramatically under the rule of King George V, but Royal Ascot wasn’t impacted.
Britain introduced a new system to classify races in 1971. When it did so, the Queen Mary Stakes was considered to be a Group 3 event, which it remained for the next few decades. It didn’t change until 2004, at which point it was promoted to become a Group 2 race and it has remained that ever since. It is run on the second day of the Royal Ascot meeting, making it the second Group 2 event of the week. Whilst obviously not as prestigious as Group 1 races, you shouldn’t make the mistake of thinking that that means that it isn’t one worth being interested in or watching.
The fact that it is limited to two-year-old fillies is interesting. It is one of a few races that gives young female horses the chance to go head-to-head with their contemporaries without worrying about being out-paced by male horses. The fact that it is such a prestigious race means that horses tend to be in good form heading into it, with most of them having won their previous race before heading to Ascot. Keep an eye for those that have done well at the likes of Chester, Newmarket and Sandown before turning up at Ascot and taking on other two-year-olds.
About The Race
There have been some well-known horses that have enjoyed success in the Queen Mary Stakes. When Forest Flower won it in 1986, for example, she did so in the owners of Paul Mellon, just like the famous Mill Reef had done. The season after she won the Irish 1,000 Guineas, which will have delighted trainer Ian Balding. Five years later and Marling won for Geoff Wragg, also winning the Irish 1,000 Guineas later in her career. That tells you something about what to expect from horses that do well in this event, with Marling also going on to win the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot.
In 1992, Lyric Fantasy won the race in under a minute, contributing to the fact that the horse was given the nickname ‘the Pocket Rocket’. She went on to win the Newbury Super Sprint and was crowned the European Champion two-year-old filly. When Attraction won the race in 2003, following it up with a win in the Cherry Hinton Stakes, there was a lot of hope for the future. She suffered an injury that many feared might put paid to that, but returned to win the 1,000 Guineas, Irish 1,000 Guineas and the Nunthorpe Stakes, giving you a sense of the sort of horses that end up taking part in the race.
Fred Darling is the race’s most successful jockey, notching up seven wins between 1924 and 1946. That doesn’t mean that other jockeys haven’t done well in the modern era, however. Talk about successful jockeys at Royal Ascot and it won’t take long for someone to mention the name of Frankie Dettori. The Italian won the race four times during his career, with only Walter Swinburn managing to get close to that thanks to his three wins between 1982 and 1994. When it comes to trainers since 1978, Richard Hannon Senior leads the way with Wesley Ward a close second.
There are some interesting facts that we can tell you about the Queen Mary Stakes, should you wish to take them on board and use them as part of your research. It is always best being as informed as possible before placing any bets, after all.
It Is A Quick Race
The first thing to note about the Queen Mary Stakes is that this is a fast race. Just six seconds separate the fastest running of the event from the slowest. Flashy Wings’ 2005 performance saw her make it home in 58.18 seconds, whilst Princess Athena was positively plodding in comparison when she took 1:04.94 to make it to the finish line in 1987. If you’re watching the race for more than a minute then it is fair to say that you’re watching one of the longer outings of the event, which is worth remembering if the Going is Heavy or one of the horses is as fast as lightning.
Don’t Just Focus On The Favourite
When you’re thinking of betting on a horse race, it can be easy to focus on the favourite. In terms of the Queen Mary Stakes, though, that might be a mistake. Between 2010 and 2010, just four of the winners were favourites when the race got underway. They were Maqaasid in 2010, Anthem Alexander in 2014, Acapulco in 2015 and Lady Aurelia the year after. In 2018, meanwhile, Signora Cabello won at 25/1, whilst Ceiling Kitty in 2012 and Raffle Prize in 2019 won with odds of 20/1 and 18/1 respectively. In other words, don’t be sucked in to bet on the favourite without thinking.
The Queen Mary Stakes is one of the notable Group 2 events at Royal Ascot, taking place on the second day of the prestigious meeting. Running over five furlongs on a straight track, this race is exclusively limited to two-year-old fillies, providing a platform for young female horses to showcase their talent without the presence of male competitors. First established in 1921 and named after Queen Mary, consort of King George V, the Queen Mary Stakes has a relatively young history compared to other races at the event. Notable jockey Sir Gordon Richards and esteemed trainer Fred Darling have left their mark on this race, with Darling securing seven victories between 1924 and 1946.
The event gained Group 2 status in 2004, emphasising its importance and ensuring thrilling competition each year. The Queen Mary Stakes has witnessed several remarkable winners, many of whom have gone on to achieve success in prestigious races such as the Irish 1,000 Guineas and the Coronation Stakes. The race has seen both quick and relatively slower performances, with Flashy Wings completing it in a swift 58.18 seconds in 2005, while Princess Athena took 1 minute and 4.94 seconds in 1987. Betting enthusiasts should note that favourites don’t always dominate this event, with only a few winning in the past decade. Winners have emerged at odds of 20/1, 18/1, and 25/1, show the importance of carefully considering all contenders before placing bets.