The History of the Prince of Wales’s Stakes

Good Evening!

Welcome to a new post here at! This evening’s post is all about the Prince of Wales’s Stakes ahead of tomorrow’s renewal. So let’s just get right into it!

The Prince of Wales’s Stakes is a Group 1 flat race which started in 1862 and is ran at Ascot Racecourse over 1 mile, 1 furlong and 212 yards. It takes place in June of each year and is open to horses who are four years and older. In 2020 the race was worth £250,000 with the winner receiving £148,000.

When the race was established in 1862, it was named after the Prince of Wales at the time, who was the future King Edward VII. The original version of this race was actually restricted to only three year olds and it was originally over 1 mile and 5 furlongs.

After World War II the race was discontinued as there was no Prince of Wales, it only returned in 1968, a year before the investiture of Prince Charles. The new version of the race was 1 mile and 2 furlongs and was opened up to horses aged three or older.

In 1971 the race was classed as a Group 2 race and it was only in 2000 when the race was promoted to Group 1 status with the minimum age of participating horses being raised to four years old.

Now let’s have a look at some previous winners. (This section will be focused on winners before the new version of this race began in 1968 – There is not much information readily available on these winners).

The first winner of this race in 1862 was Carisbrook. In 1888, Ossory gave leading trainer John Porter his first victory before Matchmaker in 1895 giving leading jockey Morny Cannon his first victory and they were followed up by Stedfast in 1911 who gave one of the leading owners, the 17th Earl of Derby, his first victory in the race.

(The following section will be focused on winners since the new version of this race began in 1968).

The first winner of the new version of this race in 1968 was four year old Royal Palace who was rode by Sandy Barclay, trained by Noel Murless and owned by Jim Joel. This trio then went on to win the race the following two years also, both years with Connaught who was four years old in 1969 and five years old in 1970.

In 1973 Lester Piggott won on board four year old Gift Card for trainer Angel Penna Sr and owner Margit Batthyány. In 1976 four year old Annes Pretender won the race for Lester Piggott, Ryan Price and Charles Clore, however it was actually Trepan who was first past the post but was later disqualified after testing positive for a banned substance.

In 1977 and 1978 jockey Joe Mercer won for Henry Cecil. In 1977 with four year old Lucky Wednesday for owner Charles St George and in 1978 on five year old Gunner B for owner Pauline Barratt.

In 1987 (four years old) and 1988 (five years old) Mtoto won the race for trainer Alec Stewart and owner Ahmed Al Maktoum. In 1987 for jockey Richard Hills and in 1988 for jockey Michael Roberts. In 1992 four year old Perpendicular won the race for Willie Ryan, Henry Cecil and Lord Howard de Walden, however it was actually Kooyonga who was first past the post, but following a stewards’ inquiry she was relegated to third place.

A horse winning twice was next achieved in 1994 (five years old) and 1996 (six years old) by Muhtarram, both times for jockey Willie Carson, trainer John Gosden and owner Hamdan Al Maktoum.

Into the late 1990’s and into the early 2000’s, trainer Saeed bin Suroor dominated the race for the joint leading owners Godolphin. He first won in 1998 with four year old Faithful Son with jockey John Reid riding, again in 2000 with four year old Dubai Millennium with jockey Jerry Bailey riding, followed by five year old Fantastic Light in 2001 partnered with Frankie Dettori and finally in 2002 with four year old Grandera again partnered with Frankie Dettori.

Jumping forward a few years we see Aidan O’Brien have his first winner in the race in 2008 with four year old Duke of Marmalade who was partnered up with Johnny Murtagh for owners Magnier / Tabor. In 2012 six year old So You Think won for Joseph and Aidan O’Brien for owner Derrick Smith. In 2014 William Buick won on board five year old The Fugue for John Gosden and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

In 2015, we seen the late Pat Smullen win on board four year old Free Eagle for trainer Dermot Weld and owners the Moyglare Stud. Followed by the 2021 Derby winning jockey Adam Kirby winning in 2016 on board four year old My Dream Boat for Clive Cox and Paul and Clare Rooney. In 2017 it was the Ryan Moore and Aidan O’Brien partnership that proved too strong for the rest of the field when five year old Highland Reel won for owners Magnier / Tabor / Smith.

The following two years were won by trainer Sir Michael Stoute. In 2018 with five year old Poet’s Word rode by James Doyle for owner Saeed Suhail followed by Frankie Dettori riding five year old Crystal Ocean in 2019 for owner Evelyn de Rothschild. The most recent winner was four year old Lord North in 2020 for James Doyle, John Gosden and Zayed bin Mohammed.

Onto some records currently held in this race, starting with the most successful horses, all with 2 wins. Connaught who won in 1969 and 1970, Mtoto in 1987 and 1988 and Muhtarram in 1994 and 1995.

The leading jockey with 6 victories in the race is Morny Cannon who won with the following horses: Matchmaker (1895), Shaddock (1896), Manners (1899), Simon Dale (1900), Rydal Head (1904) and Plum Centre (1905).

The leading trainer with 8 victories in the race is John Porter who won with the following horses: Ossory (1888), Watercress (1892), Matchmaker (1895), Shaddock (1896), Manners (1899), Simon Dale (1900), Rydal Head (1904) and Plum Centre (1905).

Now onto the leading owners, both with 5 wins.

17th Earl of Derby: Stedfast (1911), Sansovino (1924), Caissot (1926), Hyperion (1933) and Heliopolis (1939)

Godolphin: Faithful Son (1998), Dubai Millennium (2000), Fantastic Light (2001), Grandera (2002) and Rewilding (2011).

Something to note in this renewal is that 2020’s winner Lord North is the current (at the time of writing this – 11am on June 14th 2021 on Ladbrokes) 6/4 favourite, if Lord North wins this race he will join the list of most successful horses in this race.

Personally I am siding with Love for Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore, purely because I love her and after her winning the 1,000 Guineas, Epsom Oaks and Yorkshire Oaks last year I don’t see a reason as to why she can’t win this. She has never ran this distance, her wins have came over 7 furlongs, 1 mile and 1 mile 4 furlongs, but I don’t see that being an issue. She’s had a little bit of time off the track but again, I don’t see this being an issue as she had a 240 day break before winning the 1,000 Guineas last year. Currently (at the time of writing this – 11am on June 14th 2021 on Ladbrokes) she is 2/1 via Ladbrokes, 6/4 in some places. However you can’t rule out last years winner Lord North, but for me I am going with Love.

Who do you like the look of? Let me know over on Twitter. As always the odds may change, the lineup for the race may change, jockey’s may change etc due to the official declarations not yet being made however all information I have included was correct at the time of writing (11am on June 14th 2021).

I hope you enjoyed this one and I will see you tomorrow at 6pm for the ‘The History of the Ascot Gold Cup’.


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