Nailing the winner in the first race of Royal Ascot can be a great confidence booster to kick off the famous five-day meeting.
The Queen Anne Stakes has been a good race for favourites in recent years with Goldikova (2010), Frankel (2012), Toronado (2014) and Solow (2015) all justifying their positions at the head of the betting market.
There are a number of other trends that have proven shrewd to follow in the more recent renewals too. Taking some of these on board, below is who the King of Stats highlights as the likely victor in 2016:
The last 14 winners have all been aged four or five
Ardoon in 1976 was the last winner aged older than five to win the Queen Anne Stakes and this is a big negative to the two six-year-olds in this year’s field. Mondialiste and Esoterique are both scratched from our shortlist.
12 of the last 14 winners had previously tasted victory over 1m
The Queen Anne Stakes is run over a mile on Ascot’s straight course and winning form over the distance has proved useful for recent winners.
Of this year’s contingent, Endless Drama is discarded having not secured a success since winning over 6f on debut and Barchan has won over nothing further than 7f.
11 of the last 14 winners had already gained success at Group 1 level
A number of horses fail to meet this trend. Arod has been beaten in six Group 1s, A Shin Erwin has never run at this level, Cougar Mountain’s best win was in a Group 3, Kodi Bear is a Group 2 victor and Lightning Spear has won nothing more than a handicap.
Seven of the last eight winners were drawn in stall four or higher
This is bad news for Lockinge Stakes winner Belardo, who will break from stall two at Ascot.
12 of the last 14 winners had run no more than twice previously that season
Over-running a horse in the early stages of a season has not been a sensible move ahead of the Queen Anne Stakes for much of this century.
Tepin has been on the go since February, winning all four starts at odds-on. However, this doesn’t fit the profile of a typical winner of this Group 1.
10 of the last 14 winners were aged exactly four
The poor record of older horses has already been mentioned, but it is the superior record of four-year-olds, which stands out. Of the remaining three runners to meet all of the above trends, Amazing Maria and Toormore are both aged five.
This all points to Ervedya winning the Queen Anne Stakes and the talented filly has previous when it comes to winning at the Royal meeting, having triumphed in the Coronation Stakes 12 months ago.
Also in her favour is the going description at Ascot, which is currently described as good to soft. In six previous outings on ground labelled as this or softer, Ervedya has won five.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.