The Royal Ascot: The Queen’s Vase

The Royal Ascot: The Queen’s Vase

By 10/03/2016 Horseracing, Royal Ascot

The Queen’s Vase race closes the fourth day of Royal Ascot and is one of just three ‘perpetual trophy’ events that take place at the meeting.

A highly prestigious race, the prize each year is presented by the Queen herself and, unlike most other trophies presented at the meeting, can be kept by the winning team. The only other two perpetual trophies are the Gold Cup and the Royal Hunt Cup.

Key information

The Queen’s Vase is one of the longer races at Royal Ascot, run over a distance of 3,219 metres or 2 full miles, making it a real test of stamina for what are essentially young and mostly untested horses.

Weight is 9st 3lb, with a weight allowance of 3lb for fillies, and weight penalties of 3lb for previous Group Three winners and 5lb for previous Group One or Two winners.

The prize purse totalled £85,000 in 2015 and the winning team got to take home £48,203.50 along with their trophy.

Royal Ascot Queen's Vase

The history of the Queen’s Vase

The inaugural Queen’s Vase race was held in 1838, with the newly-crowned Queen Victoria donating a gold vase as the trophy. The name was changed from 1901 until 1960 to the King’s Vase, whereupon it reverted to the original title under Queen Elizabeth II and has remained so since.

The Queen’s Vase was awarded Group Three status when the current listing system was introduced in 1971 but was later downgraded to a Listed race in 1986. Originally open to a wider field, it was restricted to horses aged three in 1987.

In 1991 the race was promoted back to Group Three level but was relegated once more in 2014. Despite its Listed status, the prestige attached to this race means that it attracts a lot of young runners of a higher class than might otherwise be seen here.

Royal Ascot Queen's Vase

Race records

No jockey in recent years has managed to break the record set by George Fordham in the 19th century. Fordham recorded six wins here between 1857 and 1882, with Arsenal, Sedbury, Horror, Marie Stuart, Ambassadress and Tristan.

The current record for leading trainer was set much more recently, with Henry Cecil taking responsibility for eight winners between 1972 and 1999: Falkland, General Ironside, Le Moss, Arden, River God, Jendali, Stelvio and Endorsement.

In recent years, trainer Aidan O’Brien has been performing well here with four winners since 2007, while jockey Ryan Moore has taken home the vase on three occasions since 2008.

With many horses entering the race who are as yet unproven in terms of stamina this can be a tricky one for bookmakers and bettors alike.

As a historic and prestigious feature of the Royal Ascot meeting, the Queen’s Vase is sure to attract a large crowd of spectators, as the three-year-olds charge across Ascot’s right-hand track in the attempt to claim the coveted vase.

The Queen’s Vase race closes the fourth day of Royal Ascot and is one of just three ‘perpetual trophy’ events that take place at the meeting.