Royal Ascot: The Duke of Edinburgh Stakes

Royal Ascot: The Duke of Edinburgh Stakes

By 10/03/2016 Horseracing, Royal Ascot

The penultimate race on Day Four of Royal Ascot is the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes.

This is an exciting chance to witness early outings of horses that could then go on to win big at Group level, such as Fox Hunt (2011), Young Mick (2006) and Blueprint (1999) who went on to take the Deutsches St Leger, the Cumberland Lodge Stakes and the Jockey Club Stakes respectively.

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Key information

The Duke of Edinburgh Stakes is a race for three-year-old horses and older. A flat handicap race, this is run on the right-handed course over a distance of 2,414 metres or 1 mile, 4 furlongs.

The prize purse in 2015 was £75,000 in total, with the winning horse and jockey Arab Dawn and Richard Hughes scooping £46,687.50.

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The history of the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes

The Duke of Edinburgh Stakes began life in the early 20th century as the Bessborough Stakes, named for the 5th Earl of Bessborough, who served as Master of the Buckhounds throughout the 1840s, 50s and 60s.

It was granted its current title in 1914, when it was run as a race for two-year-old horses over 5 furlongs.

The title later passed to another Royal Ascot race but from 1999 the modern Duke of Edinburgh Stakes was here to stay, named for the current Duke of Edinburgh Prince Philip.

Race records

Jockey Ryan Moore is certainly one to watch, having ridden three winners in the last eight years, with Sugar Ray in 2008, Opinion in 2013 and Arab Spring in 2014.

Trainer Sir Michael Stoute was responsible for all three of those winners as well as a further three in 1998, 1999 and 2005: Greek Palace, Blueprint and Notable Guest.

Four-year-old horses have dominated the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes for several decades now, taking 19 wins since 1988.

In terms of starting price anything goes – more recent years have seen short-odds horses take the field, but from 2009 to 2011 winners came in at 14/1, 16/1 and 12/1, and the 2006 victor Young Mick had a starting price of 28/1.

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This is one race where the draw doesn’t seem to have too much of an effect on the outcome of the race, as the runners have enough time to find their feet.

The race typically attracts as slightly smaller field than some of the more prestigious Group races but represents a great opportunity to witness the early outings of those that are destined for bigger things.

The playground of future horse racing stars, the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes is a thrilling handicap race, with opportunity for spectators to pick out the ones to watch in future events.