2020 Queen Anne Stakes tips – Preview of day one’s Group One feature race
Check out our Royal Ascot preview of the first Group One of the meeting where we give our Queen Anne Stakes tips and runner-by-runner guide.
The Queen Anne Stakes is the first of two Group One contests to go to post on the first day of the Royal Ascot Festival and the one mile contest heads to post at the second race of the day with a post-time of 1.50pm.
Boasting a first prize pot of almost £150,000 the first Group One of the meeting has attracted a final field of 16 runners for what promises to be a cracking renewal.
Brian Healy looks through the big field of runners for the first of the Royal Ascot Group One races and gives his runner-by-runner guide and Queen Anne Stakes tips for success. Be sure to follow all the action live on ITV Racing or on bookmakers’ live streaming!
QUEEN ANNE STAKES TIPS – RUNNER BY RUNNER GUIDE
Eve Johnson-Houghton’s charge was a surprise winner of this contest in 2018, beating 2019 winner Lord Glitters. That however was his last win and his form since has been patchy and he’s been beaten at Listed level on each of his last two starts.
The Delegator gelding has shown a temperamental side to his game, refusing to race in this contest twelve months ago and he looks hard to make a case for back in a Group One that he can return to winning form.
Goes well at this venue and has two course and distance wins under his belt including the 2017 Brittania Stakes at this meeting and his latest success saw him beat Lord North in the Bracknell Handicap last September.
Roger Varian’s charge will have fitness on his side having recently turned out at Newmarket in the Listed Paradise Stakes where he might have needed the run in beating only three rivals. However that was only his second start out of Pattern company and he was soundly beaten in a Group Three contest earlier in his career.
May not be good enough at this level and has plenty to do on form to feature.
High-class performer who took last season’s St James’s Palace Stakes and Prix Du Moulin during a successful campaign as well as finish a very good fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Mile.
The drop back to one mile has certainly proven a good move for the Galileo colt since being fitted with headgear and he won first time up twelve months ago so lack of a run might not prove too much of a barrier to success.
Effective on a range of underfoot conditions, he rates a big player under Ryan Moore and the dual-Group One scorer could collect again.
DUKE OF HAZZARD
Headgear has been a catalyst for significant improvement in the Lope De Vega colt had been beginning to look exposed prior to reeling off a hat-trick towards the end of last season.
Those wins included a Goodwood Group Two win and David Simcock’s charge could continue his progress this term. He had finished fifth in last season’s Jersey Stakes so he has form at this venue and a tongue-tie is added to his usual blinkers which could help deliver another jolt of improvement.
He has a shade more to do but he has to be respected now trainer Paul Cole has found the key to him and a big run wouldn’t come as a surprise.
Was very well touted as a future star in his juvenile days but things haven’t gone to plan and his progress halted for Hugo Palmer and he switched to David O’Meara.
The Famous Name gelding has proven a difficult talent to predict, capable of running well while also throwing in the odd shocker; but he held his form well last campaign, ending the season with a course and distance win in the Balmoral Handicap.
He bombed on his reappearance in the Paradise Stakes however, failing to beat a rival although has tended to need his first run. Better can be expected from him but he needs to find significant improvement to feature.
Still unexposed after just four starts last term, winning twice which included a Listed win at Newbury in July.
Andrew Balding’s runners can do little wrong at present and the Kingman colt looked a progressive sort last term and he can continue on his upward curve although the drop back to one mile isn’t guaranteed to suit given his performances last term over further.
Form of the yard is excellent however and he has chances given his potential for better still as a lightly-raced sort. No surprise to see him involved at the business end and he ought to go well under Sylvestre De Sousa.
Progressed well last term, finishing eighth in the Jersey Stakes and latterly winning back-to-back prizes at Haydock and Pontefract although he went amiss on his final start at Salisbury where he pulled up in the Sovereign Stakes.
Mark Johnston’s charge showed no adverse affects returning from a break to finish third at Kempton in March and he then resumed winning ways in Listed company at Newmarket earlier in the month.
The Footstepsinthesand benefited from a positive ride that day but has much more on his plate to make his mark thrust into this higher grade.
Looked a high-class prospect with two wins as a juvenile including the Horris Hill Stakes and he returned last term with a win in the Greenham Stakes to mark himself as a Classic contender. That however proved his only start of the campaign having suffered a set-back and he missed most of the season.
Not disgraced in heavy ground behind King Of Change in the QEII Stakes over course and distance he could have more to offer this term and a return to a better surface might see him resume his earlier progress.
Not dismissed if finding a jolt of improvement, Marcus Tregoning’s charge can make his presence felt and still a low-mileage sort he can go well here so it wouldn’t shock to see him feature in the finish having won first time up last campaign.
Standard-setter on official ratings, Sir Michael Stoute’s charge is no stranger to the winners’ enclosure, scoring three times in a successful 2018 campaign and carrying on the good work last season with a win in the Lockinge Stakes.
The Tamayuz gelding ran better than the bare result on both subsequent outings which include finishing seventh in this race where he was only beaten three lengths having been denied a clear run although he was no match for Enable in the Coral Eclipse next time.
That longer trip might have stretched him an he bounced back to defeat Limato over seven furlongs at Newmarket on his final start. He ought to be involved at the finish and he’s not easily passed over although it might be telling that Jim Crowley prefers Mohaather over him. He’s hard to overlook in our Queen Anne Stakes tips but he might find one or two too strong on this occasion.
French raider who showed plenty of ability for Andre Fabre and counts the Group Two Prix Du Muguet amongst his successes.
The Dubawi entire made a pleasing return to action on his first start for new handler Francois-Henri Graffard to finish runner-up behind Pretreville and he now runs in a tongue-tie where the headgear might elicit some further improvement.
He’ll likely need it to feature at this top level however and while he can run well others look to hold stronger claims.
Didn’t make the track as a juvenile but quickly made up for lost time with two wins from five starts last term which include a resounding defeat of Century Dream to take the Listed Ben Marshall Stakes.
Roger Varian’s charge had possibly found the extra distance too much over ten furlongs here in last season’s Hampton Court Stakes where he crossed the line in fifth behind Sangarius.
The Kingman colt takes a big step up in class for this return, but he might well have plenty more to come this campaign and he can make his presence felt. He’s an interesting contender and no surprise to see him find further progress this camapign where he can post a big run.
Craven Stakes winner last term but failed to build on that success in four subsequent starts although he did run well in defeat having been tried in Group One company in three of those four runs including in this race twelve months ago where he finished fourth, and crossing the line in third in the 2000 Guineas.
He was beaten little over one length on that first occasion and he ended his campaign with a slightly disappointing fourth behind Dukes Of Hazzard in the Celebration Mile. William Haggas’ Shamardal colt might have more to offer this term and while he needs a bit more to feature here the lightly-raced sort isn’t dismissed and he can give a good account of himself where he represents some each-way interest.
Popped up as a surprise winner of last season’s Jersey Stakes, beating Space Blues, and resumed winning ways following a couple of defeats when landing the Boomerang Stakes at Leopardstown.
Richard Fahey’s Bated Breath colt wasn’t disgraced when sent to the Breeders’ Cup where he finished eighth in the Mile. He’s clearly talented but he has proven a touch inconsistent and he faces a tough ask here on his return to action.
Won on debut although was subsequently disqualified; but he followed up that disappointment with back-to-back all-weather successes prior to going close behind Duke Of Hazzard at Goodwood when last seen.
He wore blinkers there which seemed to focus his energies better as he had looked a little wayward previously. The War Front colt looks the type who could progress again this term but he is another who faces a stiff task on his reappearance stepping up to this level and Roger Varian’s charge might find this company too hot.
Surprise 2018 1000 Guineas winner but showed she can mix it at a good level subsequently, finishing fourth to Alpha Centauri in the Coronation Stakes and continuing to run consistently well in defeat at the top level.
Took advantage of a drop in class to score twice over the summer last month and added the Sun Chariot Stakes to her collection before having an unsuccessful crack at the Breeders’ Cup Fillies’ And Mare Turf.
Richard Hannon’s charge will be sharper for a recent return behind Nazeef at Kempton and she gets weight from all but one rival in this contest so the Champs Elysees mare could run well with fitness assured and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see her make the frame. She rates a solid each-way chance in our Queen Anne Stakes tips and she can get involved in receipt of weight and with with the benefit of a run.
Lightly-raced last term but won twice including a French Group Two contest with a defeat of Mutamakina prior to tacking the Prix De L’Opera where she finished fifth and beaten just over one length.
The Godolphin runner made a winning return to action at Newmarket earlier in the month, beating Queen Power readily to win the Dahlia Stakes and the Sea The Stars filly takes a step up in class where her fitness is assured.
The drop to one mile is a concern however and she’s yet to race over a trip as short having only contested over ten furlongs. She doesn’t appear to lack speed however and this may be run at a decent pace which might help.
Although she probably needs a bit more here she has the services of Frankie Dettori; if the lesser yardage doesn’t prove an inconvenience then she could stake a claim for the places and may yet have further improvement to come.
QUEEN ANNE STAKES TIPS – BIG-RACE VERDICT
A cracking line-up for the first Group One of the 2020 Royal Ascot Festival and CIRCUS MAXIMUS can make a winning reappearance.
Aidan O’Brien’s charge won the St James’s Palace Stakes over course and distance twelve months ago; he continued to run well in defeat prior to regaining the winning thread at Longchamp in the Prix Du Moulin.
The Galileo colt wasn’t disgraced when last seen in the Breeders’ Cup Turf where he finished fourth having perhaps been given too much to do. He’s fully effective on a range of underfoot conditions so won’t mind any changes in the ground and he’s still relatively lightly-raced so could yet have more improvement to come this year.
He rates a big player and no surprise to see him in the firing line here where he can collect another Group One prize having won first time up twelve months ago.