Long recognised as Europe’s mile championship, 1,600 metre races come no bigger than this anywhere on the international stage. With £1.1 million in prize money, the race has entered a different stratosphere in financial terms, boosted from £250,000 in 2010 when it was run at Ascot’s late September meeting. It is now by far the richest mile race in Europe and one of the most valuable in the world.
Named in honour of The Queen in 1955, the race has a roll of honour packed full of stars, including Brigadier Gerard (1971 & 72), Known Fact (1980), Dubai Millennium (1999) and the awesome Frankel, who took the race in 2011 in effortless fashion to maintain his unbeaten record.
The race holds special memories for Frankie Dettori. It provided him with his first ever Group 1 race victory thanks to Markofdistinction in 1990 and when Mark Of Esteem landed the spoils in 1996, it was the third leg of his “Magnificent Seven” when he won every race on that famous (or infamous if you were a bookmaker) Ascot card.
When Poet’s Voice triumphed in 2010, it was Frankie’s fifth victory (he also won it on Dubai Millennium in 1999 and Ramonti in 2007), easily the best record of any current jockey in the race. He still has a bit to go to match Willie Carson. He won it 8 times in his illustrious riding career.
Frankel and Excelebration, the two best milers in the world at the time (given that Frankel had stepped up in distance), stamped their authority on the race in the first two runnings on QIPCO British Champions Day, while Olympic Glory was victorious for the Hannon team in 2013.
Head would be celebrating again in 2015, too, as his brilliant miler Solow cast aside his rivals at Ascot.