Queen Elizabeth II Stakes

The Queen Elizabeth II Stakes were introduced into the British racing calendar in 1955, partly to honour the monarch and partly to replace a previous event called the Knights Royal Stakes, which had been run since 1947.

The Queen Elizabeth II Stakes are run over a distance of one mile and traditionally takes place in late September at Ascot Racecourse, on the same day as the Fillies' Mile. There have been a few changes to the race over the years. In 1971, when the Horse Racing Authority developed the system of ratings and classifications, the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes were classed as a race of Group 2 level; a decision to be revised in 1987 when the race was promoted to Group 1 status. It was also one of the last races to accept or receive corporate sponsorship. After a brief period of being backed by NetJets and later Barclays, the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes are now sponsored by Sony. Since 2008 the race is part of the Breeders' Cup Challenge, granting the winner of the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes an automatic entry into the Breeders' Cup Mile in the same year.

Because of the extraordinary contenders starting in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, the race is hailed as Europe's Top Mile; meaning the winner of the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes will be crowned the Top Miler in Europe. This huge honour at stake seems to have given wings not only to the ambitions of up-and-coming trainers and jockeys but also to the horses fighting it out on the track. The Queen Elizabeth II Stakes record some of the fastest times for one mile races every season. The event still attracts entries belonging to foreign royalty, with the latest success being the win of Raven's Pass owned by Princess Haya of Jordan in 2008.

Recent Winners of the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes:

Year Winner Jockey Trainer Time

2010

Poet's Voice

Frankie Dettori

Saeed bin Suroor

1:39.76

2009

Rip Van Winkle

Johnny Murtagh

Aidan O'Brien

1:38.82

2008

Raven's Pass

Jimmy Fortune

John Gosden

1:38.94

2007

Ramonti

Frankie Dettori

Saeed Bin Suroor

1:42.45

2006

George Washington

Michael Kinane

Aidan O'Brien

1:40.06

2005

Starcraft

Christophe Lemaire

Luca Cumani

1:37.87

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