The Duke of Cambridge Stakes is still thought of as one of the new additions to Royal Ascot, running for the very first time in 2004. Initially it ran as the Windsor Forest Stakes, but it was renamed the Duke of Cambridge Stakes to honour Prince William in 2013.
This Group 2 is one of a raft of top class opportunities for fillies and mares to race in from their four-year-old season onward.
Next Race: Tuesday, 16th June 2020
The next race is scheduled to run on 16th June 2020. The race info, trends and tips shown below will be updated for the next renewal once the final declarations have been made.
Last Run: 19th June 2019
- Winner: Move Swiftly
- SP: 9/1
- Trainer: William Haggas
- Jockey: Daniel Tudhope
Race InfoThe Duke of Cambridge Stakes is a Group 2 contest open only to fillies and mares aged four and older. It’s run over a straight mile at Ascot on what is expected to be good ground. Nearly £100,000 is awarded to the winner so it’s a race that many leading owners and trainers take seriously, a real incentive for them not to export or prematurely retire talented female horses.
|Going||Distance||Grade||Prize Money||Runners||EW Terms|
|Good||1m||Group 2||£175,000||17||1/5 1-3|
Duke of Cambridge Stakes Betting Tips
Aljazzi’s victory last year helped ease the iron grip younger horses had on this race. Her win was the first since 2008 in which a horse older than four-years-old reigned supreme in this contest.
Favourite backers have earned themselves a decent return over the last five years with the shortest-priced horse winning on three occasions in this time. Amazing Maria’s victory in 2015 showed that long shots can get the job done though so it’s worth having options from different parts of the market.
Providing there are no late withdrawals, this Duke of Cambridge renewal will be the best attended one we’ve ever seen. With no strong favourite leading the line and potentially a wet surface to run on, there potential for a surprise is there. Rawdaa remains the horse to beat of course but we would advise not ignoring horses further down the betting.
The 2019 race is the 16th renewal of this mile long contest which usually attracts a competitive field. We’ve seen three favourites past the finishing post first and we look set to have another this year courtesy of Michael Stoute’s Rawdaa.
STOUTE TO MAKE IT FIVE
No other trainer has enjoyed more success since the 2004 inception of this race than Michael Stoute. The 10-time Champion trainer has triumphed in four Duke of Cambridge renewals and he’s well-placed for another. Although Veracious (7/1) is not without hope, it is stablemate Rawdaa who is comfortably his strongest contender. Last time out she lost by just a neck to the 114 rated La Ti Dah over a mile and two furlongs. Her best two offerings have come over that distance but there’s no real reason to think a step down in distance will be the source of an issues.
I CAN FLY HIT WITH PENALTY
I Can Fly missed out on Boomerang Stakes victory at the Curragh this year but her success in last year’s renewal will work against her this Wednesday. Having a Group 2 victory means that the bay filly must concede three pounds to all of her 16 rivals. If the task wasn’t tough enough already, the four-year-old has failed to offer much in the way or progression since finishing runner-up in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes last October. The same is not true of Red Tea (14/1) who has shot up 11lbs in the ratings this year, seemingly rejuvenated by a recent yard change.
POTENTIAL TO MOVE VERY SWIFTLY
It’s perhaps not ideal that Move Swiftly is yet to make an appearance this season but the uncertainty that comes with it is reflected by her 20/1 price. If she’s able to build on what was a solid three-year-old campaign then William Haggas, who’s been in great form this season, could have a dark horse on his hands. Reliability is one thing you can count on her for though, after never finishing more than two lengths behind the winner across seven career starts. One mile certainly seems to suit and having already proven capable at Listed quality, she shouldn’t look out of place on her Group debut.
Final Verdict: Rawdaa To Win
Favourites have hit form in this race just lately and Rawdaa, on the back of a superb effort in the Middleton Fillies’ Stakes, looks set to extend their purple patch. In such a busy renewal we would also recommend dipping into the each way market as well. Red Tea’s improvements under Joseph O’Brien make her one option but Move Swiftly appears to have the higher ceiling of the two.
|2019||Move Swiftly||9/1||William Haggas||Daniel Tudhope|
|2018||Aljazzi||9/2||Marco Botti||William Buick|
|2017||Qemah||5/2||Jean-Claude Rouget||Gregory Benoist|
|2016||Uhserette||9/4||Andre Fabre||Mickael Barzalona|
|2015||Amazing Maria||25/1||David O’Meara||James Doyle|
|2014||Integral||9/4||Sir Michael Stoute||Ryan Moore|
|2013||Duntle||10/3||David Wachman||Wayne Lordan|
|2012||Joviality||11/1||John Gosden||William Buick|
|2011||Lolly For Dolly||11/1||Tommy Stack||Wayne Lordan|
|2010||Strawberrydaiquiri||9/2||Sir Michael Stoute||Ryan Moore|
The Duke of Cambridge Stakes was one of several races across Europe introduced in 2004 to encourage horses to carry on racing within the continent. The thinking behind it was that by providing races specifically for older horses, trainers and owners would be less likely to export horses or prematurely retire them to stud. While it’s hard to say how effective the scheme has been, this race has certainly been a real success.
Initially called the Windsor Forest Stakes, the one mile race adopted its new name in 2013 in order to honour Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge. Fillies and mares are both eligible to compete providing they are aged four years or above. The race takes place on the second day of Royal Ascot, a big player on the supporting card to the Prince of Wales’s Stakes.
ALJAZZI BREAKS FOUR-YEAR-OLD DOMINANCE
For nine renewals running, a four-year-old horse claimed victory the Duke of Cambridge Stakes. The run was finally broken in 2018 as the five year old bay mare, Aljazzi outpaced the younger Tribute Act during the final stages. It is only the second time a five year old has clinched glory in this race though so younger runners should remain your preference in this race. Soviet Song stands as the sole six year old who has won this race although a year prior she was rated the best older filly in the world.
GROUP EXPERIENCE VITAL
One key trend that has emerged from this race is the importance of winning Group level experience. Peeress, the 2005 champion, is the only winner who hadn’t previously won at such a high standard although she had won a Listed class race. The 2005 renewal is also the only one not to feature at Ascot so under normal circumstances, it seems that a former Group victory is vital for any Duke of Cambridge hopefuls.
DUKE OF CAMBS WINNERS PREVIOUS GROUP & LISTED VICTORIES
|Year||Horse||Group 1 Wins||Group 2 Wins||Group 3 Wins||Listed Wins|
|2011||Lolly For Dolly||✘||✘||✔ ✔ ✔||✘|
|2010||Strawberrydaiquiri||✘||✘||✔||✔ ✔ ✔|
|2008||Sabana Perdida||✘||✘||✔ ✔||✔|
|2006||Soviet Song||✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔||✔||✘||✔|
PUNISHMENT FOR SUCCESS
We’ve just mentioned how important a proven record at Group standard is but recent success at such a level can harm a horse’s chances in this race. Any filly or mare who wins a Group 1 contest after 31st August the previous year is slapped with a five pound penalty and for Group 2 winners, they receive a three pound disadvantage. Usually only a couple among the field carry a penalty and 2016 champion Usherette is the only recent name able to successfully overcome one.
WAIT FOR A DOUBLE WINNER GOES ON
Due to this race only being contest by older horses, many are retired or begin their decline not too long after winning this race. As a result, only on three occasions has the Duke of Cambridge welcomed back its reigning champion, seeking to defend their crown. Twice, they’ve come very close to pulling off back to back wins though. Usherette finished just a length behind Qemah in 2017 while Strawberrydaiquiri denied 2009 champion Spacious by a short head. Integral is the only defending champion unable to put up a fight as she tired badly inside the final furlong despite being the much fancied odds on favourite.