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The 2018 Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot

Wednesday 20th June 2018

Local Time (BST)UTCEDTCDTMDTPDTRace
5:35pm4:35 PM12:35 PM11:35 AM10:35 AM9:35 AMThe Queen’s Vase (Group 2)
Royal Ascot, Accidental Agent with Charles Bishop up wins the Queen Anne Stakes, Royal Ascot racecourse, England
© Frank Sorge / Horsephotos.com

About The Queen’s Vase of Royal Ascot

Inaugurated in 1838, the Queen’s Vase is a Group 2 race held each year in June at Ascot Racecourse in England. Run at a distance of 2808 meters (1.75 miles), the Queen’s Vase is open to 3-year-olds and is now contested on day 4 of the 5-day Ascot meet.

In 2017, prize money for the Queen’s Vase increased to £150,000 ($209,100) from £90,000. At the same time, the distance of the Queen’s Vase was reduced from two miles to 1.75 miles to provide a viable alternative to, or opportunity after, the Derby at Epsom. This created an opportunity for potentially top class horses that needed a greater test than 1.5 miles but a slight less extreme stamina test that was previously the case.

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) determined the two mile distance too far 3-year-olds and a new trip would provide a better graduation towards races like the Group 1 Goodwood Cup (2 miles) in early August at Ascot. The European Pattern Committee (EPC) hoped to “safeguard the future of the staying horse in Europe,” and determined that the reduced distance will appeal to a wider pool of younger horses with potential to be high class stayers in the future.

Trainer Mark Johnston has won the Queen’s Vase a record seven times while Aiden O’Brien has won three of the last five editions but his 2017 race favorite finished fourth. Along with Royal Ascot’s all-time winningest trainer Sir Michael Stoute, one of those trainers had won every Queen’s Vase since 2005 until John Gosden won with Stradivarius in 2017. Seven of the last 10 winners of the Queen’s Vase were favorites, and until Sword Fighter (33-1) won in 2016, there had not been a double-figure winner since 2001.