Royal Ascot - At The Races

17:00 Ascot 23 Jun 2017

Queen's Vase (Group 2) (Class 1) (3YO only)

Winner £91,445 - 13 ran

5

1m 5f 211y

Good to Firm (Watered)

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Weighed In

Last year’s race

Sword Fighter
  • Winner: Sword Fighter
  • Jockey: C O'Donoghue
  • Trainer: A P O'Brien
  • Owner: Mr M Tabor, D Smith & Mrs John Magnier
  • Age: 3 Weight: 9st 3lb
  • Starting Price: 33/1
  • Season Form Figures: 213
  • Previous Best: 3rd - Winners' race, Naas (May 2016)

Upgraded to a Group 2 and dropped in distance down to 1m6f this year in attempt to breathe new life into this division, it seemed to be doing okay to me having recently featured three St Leger winners and two Gold Cup winners. And this upgrade coming off the back of the Queen’s Vase being downgraded from Group 3 to Listed status three years ago makes it even more peculiar.

This has been a mighty good race for followers of the market with 19 of the last 22 winners starting in the first four in the betting and just one winner during that time period started at any bigger than 11/1. In fact, the favourite has obliged on eight occasions in the last 17 years. 

Of winners since 1992, just four were sired by a stallion with a Stamina Index of less than ten furlongs – the latest pair being the Aidan O’Brien-trained Aloft and Sword Fighter in the last two years who were both by Galileo (11.2f).

Of winners since 1992, just four were sired by a stallion with a Stamina Index of less than ten furlongs – the latest pair being the Aidan O’Brien-trained Aloft and Sword Fighter in the last two years who were both by Galileo (11.2f). O’Brien is chasing a fourth win in five years as the Montjeu-sired Leading Light won in 2013. These SI stats aren’t surprising given that this a stern test of stamina for 3yos in June so horses with plenty of staying power in their pedigree have unsurprisingly come to the fore but whether this trend will be held up now the race has been reduced by 2f in years to come, only time will tell.

Of late it has been the Mark Johnston, Aidan O’Brien and Sir Michael Stoute show. Having trained a remarkable seven of the last 16 winners, we wait to see what Johnston has up his sleeve for the 2016 running. Maybe Time For Study. Other connections to note are Aidan O’Brien, who has won five of the last ten runnings, and the Aga Khan and Sir Michael Stoute who successfully combined with Maridpour (1998) and Dalampour (2000) plus Stoute has also won two of the last nine runnings with Patkai and Estimate for different owners. Also take note that Sheikh Mohammed has won six Queen’s Vase's since 1990, four in his maroon and white colours and two in the Godolphin blue.

The most surprising statistic with regards to winners since 1996 is that as many as seven were unraced at two. However, that trend is deceiving as the last eight winners raced as juveniles, so a complete turnaround.

Eleven of the last 17 winners had recorded a victory earlier in the campaign so it is surprising that ten of the last 15 winners were beaten last time out. That said, ten of the last 13 winners to beaten on their most recent start were contesting Group and Listed races in defeat.

At a glance summary

Positives
Start in the first four in the betting
Trained by Aidan O'Brien, Mark Johnston or Sir Michael Stoute
Beaten in a Group or Listed race last time out
Owned by Sheikh Mohammed or the Aga Khan
Negatives
By a sire with a Stallion Index of under 10f

Previous Winners
Year Going Ran Winner Draw Age Weight OR Form Last run Trainer (Distance) Jockey SP Time
2016 Good to Soft 18 Sword Fighter 4 3 9 3 - 3-213 37 days A P O'Brien (399 miles) C O'Donoghue 33/1 3:34.55
2015 Good to Firm 13 Aloft 12 3 9 3 - 212 237 days A P O'Brien (399 miles) R L Moore 5/2 3:28.40
2014 Good to Firm 10 Hartnell 2 3 9 3 - 2113-52 41 days M Johnston (243 miles) J Fanning 7/2 3:24.73
2013 Good to Firm 15 Leading Light 5 3 9 4 - 41-11 26 days A P O'Brien (399 miles) J P O'Brien 5/4 3:25.26
2012 Soft 10 Estimate 8 3 8 12 - 7-1 47 days Sir M Stoute (88 miles) R L Moore 3/1 3:34.05
2011 Good to Soft 11 Namibian 8 3 9 1 - 3-45243 13 days M Johnston (243 miles) S De Sousa 7/2 3:40.97
2010 Good to Firm 12 Mikhail Glinka 8 3 9 1 - 12612-3 61 days A P O'Brien (399 miles) Johnny Murtagh 2/1 3:27.98
2009 Good to Firm 14 Holberg 9 3 9 1 - 4511-13 35 days M Johnston (243 miles) J Fanning 7/1 3:24.13
2008 Firm 12 Patkai 7 3 9 1 - 61-321 20 days Sir M Stoute (88 miles) R L Moore 6/4 3:27.86
2007 Good to Soft 17 Mahler 11 3 9 1 - 9110 20 days A P O'Brien (399 miles) Mick Kinane 7/1 3:32.65