The Prince of Wales's Stakes is a Group 1, middle-distance (1 ¼ mile), Flat race sponsored by Quipco as part of its British Champions Series. It is the third race after the Investec Coronation Cup and Investec Derby. Its purse has grown over the years and currently stands at £750,000 attracting the best owners, trainers and jockeys of top thoroughbred talent worldwide to compete at the Ascot Racecourse in June each year.
Established in the mid-19th century, this race has always enjoyed a measure of prestige. Currently, it is one of the most highly anticipated mid-distance races on the calendar.
Today, the Prince of Wales's Stakes is one of the numerous Group 1 events of the Royal Ascot Festival, which takes place every year in June at the fabulous Ascot Racecourse. It has been classified as a Group 1 event since 2000 and is the third middle distance race of the Quipco British Champions series.
Both colts and fillies must be at least four years of age to compete. The Ascot track is right-handed. The race begins along a straight portion of the track, then leads into two turns before heading into the home straight. The entire race stretches one mile and two furlongs in length. Each horse is required to carry 9 stones (males) or 8 stones-11 pounds (females) respectively.
Location: Ascot Racecourse
Grade: Group 1
Race Type: Flat
The Prince of Wales's Stakes was established in 1862 as a tribute to the Prince of Wales, who would later become King Edward VII. The original event was run until 1939, and was open to three-year-old thoroughbred horses. With the advance of WWII, racing in the United Kingdom was largely suspended, and races held on the Ascot Racecourse were no exception.
When racing finally resumed in 1946, the Prince of Wales's Stakes was not reintroduced, as there was no actual Prince of Wales at the time. However, the event was resurrected in 1968, just one year before the investiture of Prince Charles. The new event was set at the current length of one mile and two furlongs and was opened to thoroughbred horses aged three and older. In 2000, the age limit of the contenders was changed again raising the minimum required age to four and older.
These are some of the top records for the Prince of Wales's Stakes since its genesis over hundred 150 years ago. Keep in mind that even before the race was given a Group 1 rating, it was common for Group 1 horses to regularly participate in this event (as of 2017).
The horse with the fastest time of 2 minutes and 2.76 seconds was Bosra Sham (1997) trained by Henry Cecil and ridden by Kieren Fallon.
The most successful trainer in the history of the race was John Porter with seven wins. His first victory in 1888 was on Ossory. The last was in 1905 with PlumCentre.
Henry Cecil has won five times making him the trainer with the most wins in modern times from Lucky Wednesday in 1977 to Bosra Sham in 1997. Currently, Saeed bin Suroor is climbing the ranks with four wins from Faithful Son in 1998 to Grandera in 2002.
The most successful jockey in modern times is Frankie Dettori with three victories: Fantastic Light (2001), Grandera (2002), and Rewilding (2011). The most successful jockey of the 19th century is Pat Eddery with five wins from Record Run in 1975 to Placerville in 1993.
These top thoroughbreds have run in the Prince of Wales's Stakes and left a particularly lasting mark in the history of the race (as of 2017).
Since the first running in 1862, only three thoroughbreds have won the Prince of Wales's Stakes more than once. The first was Connaught in 1969 and 1970. He was trained by Noel Murless and ridden by Sandy Barclay who won three consecutive times in a row. The next was Mtoto in 1987 and 1988. The most recent was Muhtarram, ridden by Willie Carson and trained by John Gosden, in 1994 and 1995.
Since its upgrade in classification to Group 1, this race has seen horses with phenomenal talent including winners such as Brig. Gerard (1972), Mtoto (1987, 1988), Bosra Sham (1997), and Dubai Millennium (2000).
The winner of the 1879 race, Wheel Of Fortune, is notably one of the best fillies to run the race, as she was also victorious in the 1000 Guineas and Epsom Oaks. Similarly, Galtree More is the colt that won the 1897 race and also won the 2000 Guineas and Epsom Derby in the same year.