Budding young fillies have the chance to show what they can do on a big stage in the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes on the Friday of the July meeting. Keep your eye out for the juvenile sprinters that impress here as many have gone on to win other big races the following season.
Established just after the Second World War, this race for two year old fillies’ was known as the Cherry Hinton until a name change in 2013 to honour Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge. This was the same year that Royal Ascot’s Windsor Forest Stakes was renamed after the Duke of Cambridge, Prince William.
Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes Course Map (July Course)
Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes Past Winners
|2021||Sandrine||11/5||Andrew Balding||David Probert|
|2020||Dandalla||Evens||Karl Burke||Ben Curtis|
|2019||Raffle Prize||9/2||Mark Johnston||Frankie Dettori|
|2018||Pretty Pollyanna||20/1||Michael Bell||Silvestre De Sousa|
|2017||Clemmie||11/8||Aidan O’Brien||Ryan Moore|
|2016||Roly Poly||6/1||Aidan O’Brien||Ryan Moore|
|2015||Illuminate||7/4||Richard Hannon||Richard Hughes|
|2014||Arabian Queen||4/1||David Elsworth||Ryan Moore|
|2013||Lucky Kristale||20/1||George Margarson||Tom Queally|
|2012||Sendmylovetorose||2/1||Colm O'Donoghue||Andrew Oliver|
|2011||Gamilati||13/1||Mahmood Al Zarooni||Frankie Dettori|
|2010||Memory||5/4||Richard Hannon Sr.||Richard Hughes|
|2009||Misheer||7/2||Clive Brittain||Neil Callan|
|2008||Please Sing||14/1||Mick Channon||Edward Creighton|
|2007||You'resothrilling||6/4||Aidan O'Brien||Michael Kinane|
|2006||Sander Camillo||11/8||Jeremy Noseda||Frankie Dettori|
|2005||Donna Blini||12/1||Brian Meehan||Michael Kinane|
|2004||Jewel in the Sand||2/1||Richard Hannon Sr.||Richard Hughes|
|2003||Attraction||4/7||Mark Johnston||Kevin Darley|
|2002||Spinola||7/1||Peter Harris||Richard Quinn|
About the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes: Potential 1,000 Guineas Contenders
One of the real joys of the flat racing season is getting to see younger horses, full of potential, make their way in the sport. Breeding and the purchase fees commanded always tell a story but there is no substitute for seeing how well a horse copes (or otherwise) with the demands of competitive racing.
The Duchess of Cambridge Stakes is a very important race in the early stages of the careers’ of highly regarded fillies. This Group 2 contest takes place over six furlongs and usually attracts a strong field, many of whom have already competed with distinction at Royal Ascot. The record of winners in recent years is mixed to say the least but this remains an important race which punters should keep a close eye on, especially in relation to the following season’s 1,000 Guineas.
An Instant Hit
The Duchess of Cambridge Stakes was first run back in 1947. Originally known as the Cherry Hinton Stakes, it didn’t take long for it to build up some real prestige. That was helped when links between the Newmarket contest and the 1,000 Guineas, which is also run at Newmarket, began to emerge. In 1961, Sweet Solera became the first horse to win the first fillies’ Classic of the year having won the Cherry Hinton as a two year old.
The quality of the race meant that it was held at the Group 3 level with the advent of the new grading system in 1971 before being promoted to a Group 2 in 1996. The race then took another, if very different, boost to its reputation when it was renamed in honour of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge in 2013.
Proven Class Important Even for These Juveniles
Every horse who runs in the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes has a lot to prove. That is par for the course for juveniles at this stage of their racing career but the vast majority of recent winners did at least have one good run under their belt.
The key races to pay attention to in that regard are the Queen Mary Stakes or the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot. Those are both races which are often won by horses who only have one run under their belt but by the time the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes rolls around you would want to be backing horses who have already made an impact against quality opposition.
Guineas Winners a Rarity
As we have seen, the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes is not usually a race for previously unheralded horses to make their breakthrough. The high calibre nature of the field means that savvy punters always add this to their list of races to watch in their hunt for contenders for future big races.
The ultimate goal for connections of Duchess of Cambridge winners is that their horse goes on to win the 1,000 Guineas. That, however, is a very difficult feat to achieve. Indeed, it is getting tougher for horses to complete that particular double with 2004 Guineas winner, Attraction, the last horse to pull it off. Indeed, many recent graduates of this race have struggled to have much more success at all at the highest level as they mature.
Dual Duchess Of Cambridge and 1000 Guineas Winners: 1947 – 2020
|Horse||Trainer||Duchess Of Cambs Win||1000 Guineas Win|
|Sweet Solera||Reginald Day||1960||1961|
There is always the chance that a filly can mark herself out as something special at Newmarket in July though. The longevity of their career is one thing, winning again in the season is quite another. However, punters should seriously consider any winner who goes on to compete in the Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket.