Royal Ascot: The Diamond Jubilee Stakes

Royal Ascot: The Diamond Jubilee Stakes

By 10/03/2016 Horseracing, Royal Ascot

The Diamond Jubilee Stakes has long been one of the main highlights of Royal Ascot each year and, along with the Prince of Wales’s Stakes, has by far the biggest prize purse.

This prestigious Group One race takes place on the final day of the Royal Ascot meeting as the fourth race of the day.

Key information

The Diamond Jubilee Stakes is open to horses aged four and above, and is a Group One flat race run on the fifth and last day of Royal Ascot each year. It is run over a straight course with a distance of 1,207 metres or six furlongs.

Weight is 9st 4lb, with a 3lb allowance for mares and fillies. The prize purse is one of the biggest in horse racing, standing at £525,000 with the winners receiving £297,728.

Until the introduction of the new race for three-year-olds – the Commonwealth Cup – in 2015, the Diamond Jubilee was open to horses from three years old, but this has since been restricted with a minimum entry age of four.

Ascot Diamond Jubilee Stakes

The history of the Diamond Jubilee Stakes

This event was inaugurated in 1868 and was run as the All-Aged for many years. The first ever winner was Laneret. In 1926 the name of the race was changed to honour the 9th Earl of Cork, with the event becoming known as the Cork and Orrery Stakes.

In 2002 the race was renamed again, this time in honour of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. The name was further updated in 2012 when Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her Diamond Jubilee.

Since modern classification began in 1971, the Diamond Jubilee Stakes has been promoted twice. Initially classed in Group Three, the race was re-graded as Group Two in 1998 and promoted once more in 2002 to the status of Group One which it retains to this day.

In 2005 the Global Sprint Challenge, a new series of international races, was established, which included the Diamond Jubilee Stakes in its roster.

Ascot Diamond Jubilee Stakes

Race records
To find the most successful winning horse we have to go back past the turn of two centuries. Prince Charlie was victorious here on three consecutive occasions in 1872, 1873 and 1874, and this record has remained unbeaten ever since.

Jockey Lester Piggott has had plenty of success in this race, with nine wins throughout his career. He was victorious for three consecutive years: twice on Right Boy in 1958 and 1959, and then on Tin Whistle in 1960.

Others got the glory for the following two years but Piggott was back in style in 1963 with El Gallo. Further wins came in 1968 on Mountain Call, 1970 on Welsh Saint, 1974 on Saritamer, 1979 on Thatching and 1993 on College Chapel.

Leading trainer Vincent O’Brien was responsible for the last four of Piggott’s winning horses and for Swingtime, who won in 1975 ridden by Willie Carson.

Joseph Dawson, owner of Prince Charlie, has been equalled in wins only by Jack Joel who entered Sunflower II, who won in 1912, and Hamlet who won in both 1923 and 1924.

As one of the most watched and most backed races of Royal Ascot, the Diamond Jubilee Stakes is for many the highlight of the week.