St. James' Palace Stakes

The St. James' Palace Stakes is a part of the magnificent Royal Ascot Festival, which is held every year in June and includes seven Group 1 races. It is the opening event of this legendary meeting.

The race was inaugurated in 1834 and was named after St. James' Palace, one of the Royal Residences established during the Tudor period. The first running of the race was a little anticlimactic, a walkover with only one contestant.

The race is run over the distance of one mile at the historic Ascot Racecourse, and it is open to three-year-old thoroughbred colts only. It has an unusually high purse for a juvenile race with a total prize money of £250,000.

When the classification system was introduced in 1971, the St. James' Palace Stakes was initially classified as a Group 2 event. It was elevated to Group 1 status in 1988.

Horses competing in the St. James' Palace Stakes frequently perform in the 2,000 Guineas Stakes, the Poule D'Essai Des Poulains or the Irish 2,000 Guineas Stakes before moving on to run at the Royal Ascot Festival. With such an impressive set of unofficial preparatory races, it is no surprise that this juvenile race is one of the most anticipated and prestigious events of his kind on the British flat racing calendar.

Recent Winners of the St. James' Palace Stakes:

Year Winner Jockey Trainer Time


Canford Cliffs

Richard Hughes

Richard Hannon




Johnny Murtagh

Aidan O'Brien




Johnny Murtagh

Aidan O'Brien



Excellent Art

Jamie Spencer

Aidan O'Brien




Alan Munro

Jeremy Noseda




Kerrin McEvoy

Saeed Bin Suroor

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