The Norfolk Stakes provides a fast-paced and exciting start to Day Three at Royal Ascot. Race favourites tend to perform exceptionally well here, creating betting opportunities to kick off the day with an easy win for many.

Key information

The Norfolk Stakes is a flat sprint run over 1,006 metres or 5 furlongs on the straight. The race is open to two-year-old horses only with a weight of 9st 1lb (3lb allowance for fillies).

The prize purse in 2015 was £70,000, of which winner Ryan Moore on Waterloo Bridge took home £39,697. It is a Group Two race, having been promoted from Group Three in 2006.

Royal Ascot Norfolk Stakes horses

The history of the Norfolk Stakes

It was inaugurated at the 1843 meeting, at which it was originally called the New Stakes and won by Rattan. The name change occurred in 1973 to honour HM’s Representative at Ascot, the 16th Duke of Norfolk, who attended from 1945 until 1972.

Open only to two-year-olds, horses cannot be entered in the Norfolk Stakes more than once.

Race records

Leading jockey in the race by a large margin, however, is the legendary Lester Piggott, who rode to victory here nine times during his career. Piggott’s Norfolk Stakes winning record reads as follows:

1961 – Abermaid

1965 – Tin King

1966 – Falcon

1970 – Swing Easy

1975 – Faliraki

1977 – Emboss

1983 – Precocious

1984 – Magic Mirror

1992 – Niche

Royal Ascot Norfolk Stakes riders

There have been four trainers who have each scored four wins in the Norfolk Stakes, although none have achieved this feat in nearly a hundred years.

Trainer Year / horse Year / horse Year / horse Year / horse
Mathew Dawson 1851 / Hobbie Noble 1864 / Liddington 1868 / Belladrum 1884 / Melton
James Ryan 1875 / Coltness 1882 / Adriana 1886 / Enterprise 1890 / Orvieto
John Porter 1887 / Friar’s Balsam 1891 / Goldfinch 1894 / Kissing Cup 1898 / Flying Fox
Atty Persse 1907 / Sir Archibald 1910 / Seaforth 1926 / Damon 1928 / Mr Jinks

The fastest winning time in recent years was achieved in 2005 by jockey Robert Winston on Masta Plasta, who came in at 57.56 seconds. In that year Ascot racecourse was undergoing extensive refurbishments and so the Royal Ascot was actually held at York racecourse.

This historic race is the perfect event to start Day Three of Royal Ascot, marrying the tradition of the meeting with the thrills and excitement of watching the horses charging towards the finishing post.