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The Queen Anne Stakes

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History

The Queen Anne Stakes enjoys a unique honour, by opening Royal Ascot, the very first race on the card and commemorating the monarch who established horseracing at Ascot exactly 300 years ago. As the curtain raiser to flat racing’s greatest festival, it’s a Group 1, one mile race for four-year-olds and older horses that has always attracted class acts. It certainly kept attracting legendary jockey Sir Gordon Richards, who was 21 when he won his first Queen Anne and 48 when he claimed his last.

His record total of six victories has since been matched by Frankie Dettori, who also keeps coming back for more, winning his first at 19 years of age and his last – to date – in 2007, at 36.

The Queen Anne Stakes has also attracted many top-quality horses. The 2012 winner Frankel confirmed his status as the world’s greatest racehorse with another scintillating display to win by 11 lengths.

Current leading jockey: Frankie Dettori, 6 wins (1990, 1997-8, 2003-4, 2007)
Current leading trainer: Saeed bin Suroor, 7 wins (1996-7-8-9, 2003-4, 2007)

Previous winners

Year Horse Jockey Trainer Owner Prize money

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No/Draw Horse/Jockey Age Form/Type BHA Rating Weight Trainer Odds

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Super mare Tepin strikes for America

Brilliant North American mare Tepin claimed Royal Ascot glory in the Queen Anne Stakes.

Trained by Mark Casse and ridden by Julien Leparoux, the five-year-old was making her British and European debut having won a host of big races in her homeland, including the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Keeneland last October.

Sent off at 11-2 due to doubts about the rain-softened ground, Tepin was always travelling well and knuckled down admirably in the final furlong to get the better of Belardo by half a length.

Leparoux said: “It’s just amazing. It’s a great feeling. She’s a champion and she proved it today. She had to work hard, for sure, as the last 100 metres was a long way to go. It’s awesome.”

When the starting stalls opened, the field initially split into two groups, with Tepin leading a contingent that raced closer to the stands side.

With ground conditions in his favour, Belardo was the 9-2 joint-favourite to add to last month’s top-level triumph in the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury and his pacemaker, Barchan, ensured it was a serious test of stamina by setting a furious gallop.

When he inevitably folded heading inside the final quarter-mile, Kodi Bear was left in front, but he was quickly pressed by Tepin and the more patiently-ridden Belardo.

That pair settled down to fight it out and it was Tepin who found most for pressure to clinch a momentous victory under her jubilant rider.

Lightning Spear came from a long way back to finish third.

The other joint-favourite, French challenger Ervedya, never threatened to land a telling blow.

Tepin‘s owner Robert Masterson said: “The mare is the best thing in the world – she’s fantastic. People say Americans have to have drugs in their horses. She had no drugs and no nasal strip, the things everyone was worried about.

“The biggest thing we were worried about was the ground. She’d won on soft but we didn’t know how bad the ground was.

“She performed magnificently. She had a lot of things to overcome for the first time, but she just did it.”

Results

Position Horse Jockey Trainer Owner
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The Course

British horseracing can lay claim to plenty of blue-blooded connections, but none rival those of Ascot. The Berkshire racecourse’s roots go back 300 years to Queen Anne, who recognised the potential of a stretch of heath land while out riding just a few miles from Windsor Castle.

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The royal link has endured ever since. Today, Queen Elizabeth II and members of the Royal Family attend the world-famous ‘Royal Ascot’ meeting each year, arriving in a horse drawn carriage. Royal Ascot, meanwhile, has earned iconic status as a centrepiece of the social calendar, when the world’s best thoroughbreds face fierce competition from the world’s most extravagant fashion designs.

Ascot, which underwent a £200 million redevelopment between 2004-6, also hosts the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes sponsored by QIPCO in July, the most prestigious open-age Flat race staged in Britain.

It will also host the inaugural QIPCO British Champions Day in October which will be the richest raceday ever staged in Britain with over £4.2m in prize money and the climax to the QIPCO British Champions Series.  Including the five category finales on QIPCO British Champions Day, Ascot stages no less than 13 of the 35 QIPCO British Champions Series races.

What sort of horses like Ascot? Horses that like right-handed courses. And what sort of people? People who like champagne and scones, apparently. During the five-day Royal Ascot meeting in 2010, 60,000 bottles of champagne and 40,000 scones were consumed. Lobsters, meanwhile, don’t like Royal Ascot – 1,500 of them were eaten over that same period.

Getting there

Ascot
Berkshire
SL5 7JX

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@davereversRP That's Vibrant Chords! Unfortunately every time the camera went near Limato he darted back inside his box.