Rumoured to have originated as a result of typical bad British weather and a half-drowned racecourse, the King’s Stand Stakes has become one of the most exciting events at the Royal Ascot meeting.

Key information

Entrants in the King’s Stand Stakes must be thoroughbreds, aged three years or older. The number of competitors in the race ranges – over the last decade, the average number of participants running was 18, with as few as 12 entrants in 2010 and as many as 28 entrants in 2006.

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The race is a sprint event, run on a flat track over a distance of 5 furlongs, which is just over 1 kilometre long. The short nature of the track and the volume of participants make for one of the most rapid and thrilling races of the event.

The purse is a staggering £375,000, with £212,663 awarded to the winner.

The Royal Ascot The King’s Stand Stakes
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Having been promoted back to Group 1 status in 2008, the King’s Stand Stakes is a lively and competitive race that brings horses of the highest calibre together for a few breath-taking moments. One of only two Group One sprint races at Royal Ascot, it occurs on the first day of the event.

In 2005, the King’s Stand Stakes became the first leg of the two British racing events included in the Global Sprint Challenge, which is a series of races spanning jurisdictions around the world, creating an extra tier of competition for the best sprint racers.

Since being added to the Global Sprint Challenge line-up, the King’s Stand Stakes has seen a jump in the number of international entrants, raising the bar even higher.

The Royal AscotThe King’s Stand Stakes
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The leading jockey is horse racing legend Lester Piggot, who racked up some seven wins in the King’s Stand Stakes over his career between 1957 and 1985.

The most successful trainer in the race’s history is Vincent O’Brien, who won with Cassarate (1962), Abergwaun (1973), Godswalk (1977), Solinus (1978) and Never So Bold (1985).

The top-level of competition from entrants all over the world and the intensity of the setting make the King’s Stand Stakes one of the most popular racing events, not only at Royal Ascot, but also on the global racing platform.

For over 100 years, viewers have eagerly anticipated the promise of a few hoof-pounding and heart-thumping seconds, all thanks to a muddy track and some top-class quick thinking.

Rumoured to have originated as a result of typical bad British weather and a half-drowned racecourse, the King’s Stand Stakes has become one of the most exciting events at the Royal Ascot meeting.