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The Queen’s Plate – Most Historic and Prestigious Horse Race in North America

In 1859, with Canada, a colony still falling under British rule, Sir Casimir Gzowski, who at the time presided in the Toronto Turf Club, petitioned her majesty Queen Victoria for her grace to grant a plate for the founding of a race in the Queen’s territory. Upon confirmation of her royal assent, the first Queens Plate race occurred in the year of our lord 1860 on 27th of June at the Carleton, Toronto racetrack offering a plate value of 50 guineas. Its popularity and prestige became partially responsible for ensuring it survived the withering test of time with aplomb, eventually going on to become the oldest thoroughbred horse race in Canada and the longest continuously run horseracing event in the North Americas.

Originally race rules restricted entries to Upper Canada bred three-year olds never having won a stakes event. The race, originally held in heats, required a horse to bring home first position in two heats before declared as winner and despite the race naming the actual winning trophy is a gold cup, not a plate. As the years progressed so did the race rules, progressing with heat races discontinued by 1879 and stake winners allowed to enter at approximately the same time. During the early 1900s, the rules allowed older horses and even saw 2-year olds entering. Current rule restrictions only admit Canada foaled three-year-olds, with owners required to submit a nomination fee as early as February, followed by a subscription fee during May and a final entry fee during late June prior to race day.

After running the first four events at the Carleton racecourse, the Queen’s Plate evolved into a multi-venue festival with hosting rights for their constituency continually vied for by politicians from all across Ontario. After Carleton saw the first four of its renewal races, the next two decades had the event moving between fifteen racecourses where distances varied between one and two miles. By 1883 the race enjoyed a lengthy stopover at Old Woodbine on the east of Toronto along the shores of Lake Ontario until moving to North Toronto in 1956 for its continued future hosting at the New Woodbine track as it replaced the older track. Here the Queen’s Plate remained, flourishing, evolving into its current format and stature. During 2006 the main track underwent a surface change from natural dirt to Polytrack, a synthetic surface only to have it change to Tapeta during the 2016 season.

As Queen of Canada, Queen Elizabeth II became patron of this prestigious race, the event has over the years seen a substantial number of royalty in attendance, with the Canadian Royal Family as regulars. Queen Elizabeth as a rider herself and an avid admirer of the sport she made certain to pay a royal visit to the event on several occasions with her last attendance as recent as July 2010.

Punters new to the sport and wanting to avoid any potential scams and other common pitfalls are well advised to make use of a prime affiliate site such as Betenemy to find a trustworthy, reliable online bookmaker as their betting partner. Each year people stream to place their wagers on each race, due to the country’s massive size many Canadians wanting to support their favourite horse remain dependent on the services of online bookmakers.

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