Queen Elizabeth II is already the race every quality mare in Australia is being set for, but interest in it will hit record levels in 2024 with exciting changes to qualifying for the race.
It starts with a change in dates that will see the $200,000 Pryde’s Easifeed Queen Elizabeth II feature now run on May 4 as part of Club Menangle’s new Pacing for Pink feature race day.
The switch in dates ensures this marquee event will attract the best mares in Australasia.
And Club Menangle have added even more interest to the event by introducing changes to the field selection process.
This year Club Menangle have decided to issue up to two invitations about three weeks before the May 4 race.
And outside of those two invitations, all other mares in contention will need to compete in two important lead-up events.
They are the races named after two of our greatest mares, the Sibelia Stakes on April 20 and the Robin Dundee Stakes on April 27.
The first four horses home from each of those races will be guaranteed a start in the Queen Elizabeth II.
Any mare who does receive one of those early invitations cannot compete in either of the two Menangle qualifying races.
Should they wish to compete in a lead-up qualifying event they will automatically forfeit their invitation and will then need to rely on qualifying.
According to the general manager of racing at Club Menangle, David Wonson, the changes will only ramp up interest to Australasia’s richest mares’ race.
“There is a very strong group of mares presently racing throughout Australia and New Zealand,” says Wonson.
“And with last year’s three-year-old fillies now performing as better-seasoned four-year-old mares, it is going to be very exciting.
“Here is our chance to watch a lot of these mares compete against each other for the first time.
“Issuing invitations will only add to the excitement around this new feature race date at Club Menangle.”
SNAPSHOT: May 4 Group One feature races:
$200,000 Pryde’s Easifeed Queen Elizabeth II;
$200,000 John Gibson Memorial NSW Oaks;
$100,000 Slingsby Holdings Mac