The Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) takes place at Royal Randwick Racecourse annually at the end of April and is Australia’s richest weight-for-age race.
The race takes place on the penultimate week of the Sydney Autumn Carnival and is one of four Group 1 features on the day.
Other feature races on the day include the Group 1 AJC Australian Oaks (2400m), Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m), Group 1 Queen of the Turf Stakes (1600m), Group 2 Royal Sovereign Stakes (1200m), Group 2 Sapphire Stakes (1200m) and the Group 3 Princess Stakes (1200m).
The race has seen many facelifts over the years and has been named the AJC Plate (1873-1933), AJC King’s Cup (1934), AJC Plate (1935-1954) and its current name Queen Elizabeth Stakes since 1954.
As well as multiple name changes the race has endured a phenomenal 19 distance changes ranging from 2000 – 4800m.
With $4 million in prizemoney the Queen Elizabeth Stakes attracts the country’s best middle distance and staying horses, and is one of the most prestigious races on the Australian racing calendar.
The Doncaster Mile (1600m) held at the same track two weeks earlier is the most reliable guide to the Queen Elizabeth, with champion mare More Joyous the most recent winner of the Doncaster and Queen Elizabeth-double in 2012.
Some of Australia’s greatest horses have won the premiere weight-for-age event with the most notable in recent times being Grand Armee in 2004-2005.
Cossack won the inaugural Queen Elizabeth Stakes in 1851 when the race was known as the Queen’s Plate and run over the distance of 3 miles.
Other notable winners of the Queen Elizabeth Stakes include: Sportsman (1853-54), Archer (1862), The Barb (1869), Tim Whiffler (1868 & 1870-71), Chester (1878-79), Carbine (1889-91), Wakeful (1902), Poseidon (1908), Phar Lap (1930), Peter Pan (1933), Flight (1946), Tulloch (1958 & 1960-61), Ming Dynasty (1978), Jeune (1995), Might And Power (1998), Lonhro (2003), Grand Armee (2004-05) and More Joyous (2012).