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 QUEEN ELIZABETH STAKES
by Gary Crispe and Steve McGhee  

Year
 
Previous Winners
 
2003
 
LONHRO (AUS)
 
2002
 
DEFIER (AUS)
 
2001
 
SHOGUN LODGE (AUS)
 
2000
 
GEORGIE BOY (NZ)
 
1999
 
INTERGAZE (AUS)
 
1998
 
MIGHT AND POWER (NZ)
 
1997
 
INTERGAZE (AUS)
 
1996
 
DORIEMUS (NZ)
 
1995
 
JEUNE (GB)
 
1994
 
DURBRIDGE (AUS)
 
1993
 
VEANDERCROSS (NZ)
 
1992
 
ROUGH HABIT (NZ)
 
1991
 
STYLISH CENTURY (AUS)
 
1990
 
SYDESTON (AUS)
 
1989
 
OUR POETIC PRINCE (AUS)
 
1988
 
AUTHAAL (USA)
 
1987
 
DINKY FLYER (NZ)
 
1986
 
TRISTARC (NZ)
 
1985
 
RISING PRINCE (AUS)
 
1984
 
CHIAMARE (AUS)
 
1983
 
FOUNTAINCOURT (NZ)
 
1982
 
PRINCE MAJESTIC (NZ)
 
1981
 
MY BLUE DENIM (NZ)
 
1980
 
IKO (AUS)
 

The WFA 2000m classic has been going since 1851 and the names of turf legends are spread throughout the results, despite multiple distance changes over the years.

The first nine runnings were held at Homebush and raced over 4800m and Cossack won the first two, while Sportsman took out the next pair.

The race was known as the AJC Plate up until 1954 when also run that year in the autumn was the AJC Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

The final AJC Plate was run over 3200m and won by Lancaster while the first 2400m Queen Elizabeth Stakes was run over 2400m and won by Blue Ocean, a 66-1 outsider in front of the Queen.

The distance went up to 2800m for 16 of the next 18 runnings until in 1973 we had a six year period of 2400m, starting with Apollo Eleven.

It is from 1979 onwards, when the Dave O'Sullivan trained Shivaree from Matamata in New Zealand prevailed, that the Queen Elizabeth Stakes was run over 2000m and to this day stays at that distance.

The race has endured an incredible number of distance changes over it's 152 year existence with the ground covered at various times being 4800m, 3600m, 3200m, 2800m, 2400m and 2000m.

It was not held in 1942-43 for obvious war and economic reasons.

The first two runnings were won by Cossack (by Sir Hercules out of Flora McIvor) and in 1866 another horse called Cossack (by Sir Hercules out of Topsy) won the race.

Three time winners include Tim Whiffler (1868, 1870-71), the mighty Carbine (1889-91), the well performed Trafalgar (1909, 1911-12), the fine stayer David (1921-23) and the awesome Tulloch (1958, 1960-61) was the last three-time winner.

Dual winners of the race abound with the already mentioned Cossack (1851-52) and (Sportsman (1853-54), along with Tarragon (1863-64), Dagworth (1873-74), Chester (1878-79), La Carabine (1900-01), Poitrel (1919-20), Windbag (1925-26), Limerick (1927-28), Russia (1947-48) and Intergaze (1997, 1999).

La Carabine was a daughter of three-time winner Carbine.

Iconic names of Australasian racing have taken out the race once like Archer (1862), Poseidon (1908), Phar Lap (1930), Peter Pan (1933), Ming Dynasty (1978) and Might And Power (1998).

The Barb (1869), another son of prolific sire Sir Hercules, had won the 1866 Melbourne Cup and 1868 Sydney Cup before taking out the race, and a second Sydney Cup that same year for good measure.

His 1869 Sydney Cup win was under a crushing 67kg, which is five and a half kilos superior to any other weight carrying performance in that race, with the next best being Carbine (61.2kg).

Abercorn (1888), a son of Chester, was dominant as a three, four and five-year-old and won from 1200m to 4800m, and came in history directly behind the all conquering Carbine.

The super New Zealand galloper Beau Vite (1941), a son of Beau Pere (GB), would win 28 black type equivalent races in his career including an Auckland Cup, two W.S. Cox Plate's and two L.K.S. MacKinnon Stakes.

Prince Majestic, another fine galloper from New Zealand, would take out the race in 1982 along with the Tancred Stakes (now known as BMW), in another plundering raid by the recently passed away trainer Ray Verner.

Verner had made several earlier successful raids with the son of Noble Bijou (USA) and in tandem with his good sprinting mare My Gold Hope.

The modern day cup and/or WFA wonders to have taken out the race include Our Poetic Prince (1989), Sydeston (1990), Rough Habit (1992), Veandercross (1993), Jeune (1995), Doriemus (1996) and Lonhro (2003).

Melbourne Cup and Caulfield Cup winners have a solid record in this race both before they go on to G1 handicap glory and, after one of their finest moments.

The last mare to win the race was Dinky Flyer (by Balmerino (NZ)) in 1987 and some good ones have tried since, including Sunline.

Along with the many champions, crowd favourites and record breaking performances witnessed in this race, there are many major upsetters along the way.

The presence of the Queen to present the trophy often corresponded with a boilover on the tote or a bonanza for the bookmakers due to a despised outsider taking out the event.

Panvale, by Pandour (GB), would take out the race in 1970 at 100-1 and put tears into the eyes of bookmakers, tears of joy that is.

The then six-year-old upset some of the best stayers of the time, after first winning a maiden race at Bundamba, and then going on to win a further sixteen races for the new owners.

A nineteen-year-old Peter Cook, whose family had a history of meeting and riding for the Queen, over many years, rode the Queenslander.

Panvale sprinted away to beat Lochcourt and Rain Lover, after settling midfield and moving up near the turn, in what was a bi-centenary year.

The Queen Elizabeth Stakes comes at the end of the AJC autumn carnival these days and it often takes a durable type to withstand the rigours of running in the Ranvet and the BMW or as is more common in modern times, the Doncaster and the All-Aged Stakes.

Favourites get rolled in the race regularly, such as Sunline or Beau Zam, and quite often the weather plays a role, due to a strength-sapping rain-affected track.

Defier won the race in 2002 and the galloper would dominate a true track rival in Lonhro that spring but the tables would turn the next year.

Lonhro would go on a winning rampage upon resuming in February, with two wins at G1 and G2 then a fourth at handicap level in the Doncaster before coming out and easily accounting for his rivals in the Queen Elizabeth.

The favourite son of Sydney racing gave trainer John Hawkes his first win in the race and rider Darren Beadman his second, after Authall in 1988.

Lonhro would spell afterwards then win four in a row, against a pair of G1 and G2 WFA fields before finishing third in the 2003 Cox Plate.


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