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INDEPENDENT HORSE RACING NEWS
The Queen Elizabeth II Cup was introduced in 1976 and is now the only Grade 1 opportunity for three-year-old fillies to take on older mares without the added difficulty of male opposition.
The Queen Elizabeth II Cup was introduced in 1976 and was the final leg of the fillies’ triple crown until the Shuka Sho took over that role 20 years later. The Queen Elizabeth II Cup was repackaged as the only Grade 1 opportunity for three-year-old fillies to take on older mares without the added difficulty of male opposition.
Sakura Candle, Admire Groove, Snow Fairy and Lucky Lilac are the only mares to have won the race more than once. In 2011 the British champion Snow Fairy became the first overseas-trained horse to win the same Grade 1 flat race in Japan in consecutive years when she won her second Queen Elizabeth II Cup. The race had ‘Commemorative’ as part of its title until it was removed in 2012.
The Mikio Matsunaga-trained Lucky Lilac was a champion juvenile who then failed to match the mighty Almond Eye through the 2018 Classics. But the quirky chestnut reignited her career in the 2019 Queen Elizabeth II Cup with a surging late run down the rail that saw her overhaul the runner-up Crocosmia. One year later, she repeated the feat with a contrasting wide run that took her to a premature lead and forced her to dig deep to repel Salacia, with Loves Only You behind in third for the second year running.
In between those wins, Lucky Lilac was second to Glory Vase in the Hong Kong Vase and added an Osaka Hai victory to her resume in the spring of 2020, a win that emulated her sire, the exceptional Orfevre. Her four Grade 1 wins – she also won the Hanshin Juvenile Fillies – were among seven successes from 19 starts.
|2021||Akai Ito||4||Hideaki Miyuki||Kazuya Nakatake||Koji Oka||2:12.1|
|2020||Lucky Lilac||5||Christophe Lemaire||Mikio Matsunaga||Sunday Racing||2:10.3|
|2019||Lucky Lilac||4||Christophe Soumillon||Mikio Matsunaga||Sunday Racing||2:14.1|
|2018||Lys Gracieux||4||João Moreira||Yoshito Yahagi||U Carrot Farm||2:13.1|
|2017||Mozu Katchan||3||Mirco Demuro||Ippo Sameshima||Capital System Co. Ltd||2:14.3|
|2016||Queens Ring||4||Mirco Demuro||Keiji Yoshimura||Chizu Yoshida||2:12.9|
|2015||Marialite||4||Masayoshi Ebina||Takashi Kubota||U Carrot Farm||2:14.9|
|2014||Lachesis||4||Yuga Kawada||Katsuhiko Sumii||Masaya Oshima||2:12.3|
|2013||Meisho Mambo||3||Koshiro Take||Akihiro Iida||Yoshio Matsumoto||2:16.6|
|2012||Rainbow Dahlia||5||Yoshitomi Shibata||Yoshitaka Ninomiya||Yoshiko Tanaka||2:16.3|
|2011||Snow Fairy||4||Ryan Moore||Ed Dunlop||Anamoine Ltd||2:11.6|
|2010||Snow Fairy||3||Ryan Moore||Ed Dunlop||Anamoine Ltd||2:12.5|
|2009||Queen Spumante||5||Hiroyasu Tanaka||Shigeyuki Kojima||Green Farm||2:13.6|
|2008||Little Amapola||3||Christophe Lemaire||Hiroyuki Nagahama||Shadai Racehorse Co||2:12.1|
|2007||Daiwa Scarlet||3||Katsumi Ando||Kunihide Matsuda||Keizo Oshiro||2:11.9|
|2006||Fusaichi Pandore||3||Yuichi Fukunaga||Toshiaki Shirai||Fusao Sekiguchi||2:11.6|
|2005||Sweep Tosho||4||Kenichi Ikezoe||Akio Tsurudome||Tosho Sangyo||2:12.5|
|2004||Admire Groove||4||Yutaka Take||Mitsuru Hashida||Riichi Kondo||2:13.6|
|2003||Admire Groove||3||Yutaka Take||Mitsuru Hashida||Riichi Kondo||2:11.8|
|2002||Fine Motion||3||Yutaka Take||Yuji Ito||Tatsuo Fushikida||2:13.2|
|2001||To the Victory||5||Yutaka Take||Yasuo Ikee||Makoto Kaneko||2:11.2|
|2000||Phalaenopsis||5||Mikio Matsunaga||Mitsumasa Hamada||North Hills Management Co Ltd||2:12.8|
|1999||Mejiro Dober||5||Yutaka Yoshida||Yokichi Okubo||Mejiro Shoji||2:13.5|
|1998||Mejiro Dober||4||Yutaka Yoshida||Yokichi Okubo||Mejiro Shoji||2:12.8|
|1997||Erimo Chic||4||Hitoshi Matoba||Yoshio Oki||Shinichi Yamamoto||2:12.5|
|1996||Dance Partner||4||Hirofumi Shii||Toshiaki Shirai||Katsumi Yoshida||2:14.3|
|1995||Sakura Candle||3||Futoshi Kojima||Kazunori Sakai||Sakura Commerce||2:27.3|