The Group class action just keeps on coming at Royal Ascot with one of the highlights on the fourth day (in 2020) at the festival being this contest for the older horses. The race has provided many a memorable moment over the years, including a famous victory for the Queen three years ago with Dartmouth.
The race first ran in 1879 and, as with a number of Royal Ascot contests, was named after a former Master of the Buckhounds. The Hardwicke Stakes was named in honour of the 5th Earl of Hardwicke, Charles Yorke.
Next Race: TBD
The next renewal of this race has not been scheduled yet. We will update this once the schedule has been released for next season. 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 2020
- Winner: Fanny Logan
- SP: 17/2
- Trainer: John Gosden
- Jockey: Frankie Dettori
1m4f is the trip for this Group 2 contest, with the race offering £125,000 in guaranteed prize money this year. The ground at the track is currently described as good, with some good to soft in places.
|Going||Distance||Grade||Prize Money||Runners||EW Terms|
|Good||1m4f||Group 2||£125,000||11 Runners||1/5 1-3|
Hardwicke Stakes Betting Tips
Note: The following tips are from 2020. Tips for the next renewal will be added once the final declarations have been made.
One of the big highlights on the penultimate day of the Royal meeting comes in this mile and a half event for runners aged four and older. An excellent event in its own right, the race also serves as the ideal trial for the King George over the same course and distance later in the season so be sure to have your notebooks at the ready.
Sir Michael Stoute is way out in front amongst the trainers in this race, with the Newmarket handler registering an excellent 11 previous successes in the race over the years. A little surprisingly, Stoute doesn’t hold an entry this year though, leaving three-time winner Aidan O’Brien as the most successful trainer on show.
Favourite backers have enjoyed a fairly fruitful time of things in this race in recent years, with six of the past 10 market leaders doing the business. That 60% strike rate has been enough to produce a handsome level stakes profit of a shade under 5.5 points and we think the favourite will go well once again here.
|Anthony Van Dyck||6/4||121||Aidan O'Brien||Ryan Moore|
|Elarqam||3/1||120||Mark Johnston||Jim Crowley|
|Fanny Logan||7/1||109||John Gosden||Frankie Dettori|
|Defoe||8/1||117||Roger Varian||Andrea Atzeni|
Anthony Van Dyck (6/4)
Aidan O’Brien has already featured amongst the winners this week, with his Galileo-sired runners in particular doing him proud. The deadly trainer/stallion combo may well strike again here, as heading the betting for this race is none other than 2019 Derby champ, Anthony Van Dyck.
Showing excellent stamina and resolution when getting up late to land a thrilling edition of the Epsom showpiece last season, the world looked to be his oyster on the back of that Classic success – and then it all seemed to go wrong.
A beaten favourite in the Irish Derby, he then put in an abject display in the King George over this course and distance. His effort when third in the Breeders Cup Turf was more like it, but he still ended the campaign without adding to that Derby triumph.
All that said, he does still look the most likely winner here, remembering that this is a Group 2 contest and he has already won one Group 1 event and finished placed in six others. His comeback run when second to Ghaiyaath in the Coronation Cup was also a most encouraging effort, and this step back up to 1m4f seems sure to suit. Odds of 6/4 seem more than fair and it is hard to make too much of an argument against him here.
Next in the betting, and rated only 1lb below Anthony Van Dyck is the most impressively bred runner in the Mark Johnston yard – Elarqam. Sired by a certain horse called Frankel, and out of the 1000 Guineas winner Attraction, this one was bred to be very good, and whilst not totally consistent, he has proven that he can deliver on the big stage.
Already a four-time winner at Listed level and above, he may well already have had a Group 1 in the bag had he not been denied a run at a crucial stage in last season’s Juddmonte International at York. Had he landed that his odds may well have been shorter here and he will certainly have his backers.
The big question regarding this one concerns the trip though. Raced 14 times in his career to date, all 14 of those runs have come over 1m2½f or shorter. Whilst he did hit the line strongly in that Juddmonte International event, on other occasions he has appeared to be running out of steam in the closing stages.
It is however still hard to say for certain that he doesn’t have the stamina for this trip at this stage. Of course, we will almost certainly know more after this race but that’s a little late for punters! Man of the moment, Jim Crowley, takes the ride, and he would look to have a big chance…if he stays.
Fanny Logan (7/1)
John Gosden has registered just the one winner in this event – saddling Bronze Cannon to victory in 2009 – but is already enjoying a successful Royal meeting, and will be hoping to strike again here with his four year old filly, Fanny Logan.
Winning on her first start last season, the daughter of Sea The Stars then experienced a slight lull before finishing the season strongly with a hat-trick of successes at Listed level or above, followed by a rock solid fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf out in Santa Anita. Fit and well on the back of a recent comeback second in a Group 3 at Haydock, she does need to improve significantly to take this, but that is by no means impossible. As the only filly in the field she receives 3lbs from all of her rivals, and Royal Ascot legend Frankie Dettori takes the ride.
Last but not least, of course we mustn’t forget the current champion Defoe, who returns to defend his title for Roger Varian. Varian has recorded a couple of near misses at this meeting so far, and will be hoping one of his real stable stars can take him into the winner’s enclosure here.
Already proven at the highest level having posted a stylish success to claim the Group 1 Coronation Cup at Epsom last season, track and trip pose no issues and he may well be involved in the finish once again if close to his best. Age may be against the six year old however, with each of the past 10 editions of this falling to a runner aged five or younger, and he does need to bounce back from a seriously underwhelming display in his Coronation Cup defence last time out.
Hardwicke Stakes Winners
|2020||Fanny Logan||17/2||John Gosden||Frankie Dettori|
|2019||Defoe||11/4||Roger Varian||Andrea Atzeni|
|2018||Crystal Ocean||4/7||Sir Michael Stoue||Ryan Moore|
|2017||Idaho||9/2||Aidan O’Brien||Seamie Heffernan|
|2016||Dartmouth||10/1||Sir Michael Stoute||Olivier Peslier|
|2015||Snow Sky||12/1||Sir Michael Stoute||Pat Smullen|
|2014||Telescope||7/4||Sir Michael Stoute||Ryan Moore|
|2013||Thomas Chippendale||8/1||Lady Cecil||Johnny Murtagh|
|2012||Sea Moon||3/1||Sir Michael Stoute||Ryan Moore|
|2011||Await The Dawn||4/6||Aidan O'Brien||Ryan Moore|
About the Hardwicke Stakes
Five years after the 5th Earl of Hardwicke took up the role as Master of the Buckhounds, a race called the Hardwicke Stakes was born. The creation of the one and half mile event happened a long time ago, back in 1879, but it’s appeared regularly at Ascot ever since. Today it usually takes its place on the final day of Royal Ascot, helping ensure a climatic end to the five day Festival, though in 2020 it was run on day 4.
Group 2 status means it’s not the highlight contest of the day but the Hardwicke Stakes is nevertheless a race that piques interest among racing fans. Not least because leading horses often return to the Berkshire course a month later to try their luck in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. The last horse to successfully win both races in the same season was Harbinger in 2010.
HARDWICKE WINNERS SEEK MORE ASCOT SUCCESS
As touched on above, those that perform well in the Hardwicke Stakes will often return to Ascot for the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. This contest therefore can be seen as a sort of trial run ahead of the incredibly lucrative Group 1 contest. Although there’s not been a double winner since the aforementioned Harbinger in 2010, as the chart below shows, Hardwicke winners rarely find themselves outclassed as they seek another win and have often done enough to nick a place.
STOUTE WINNING THE BATTLE WITH O’BRIEN
If there are two trainers you expect to have some involvement in this race, it’s Sir Michael Stoute and Aiden O’Brien. The pair regularly have at least one runner in the mix for the Group 2 prize and so far it’s Stoute who is proving the dominant force. The Barbados-born trainer has a giant 11 victories compared to just three from the illustrious Irishman. Over the coming years it will be fascinating to see if O’Brien can stem the tide or if Stoute’s superiority can extend even further.
MARAAHEL DENIED A FAMOUS HAT-TRICK
Maraahel had to settle for third place when attempting to make it three victories in this race. A Hardwicke hat-trick has only been managed once before during its long history by a horse named Tristan (1882-1884). Once described as “a very vile-tempered animal”, he enjoyed a hugely successful career in which he also won the Champion Stakes on three occasions. How close did Maraahel come to matching Tristan’s record in his race? Not close at all really. A one-paced finish saw Michael Stoute’s horse quickly fade as the leading pair beat him by five lengths.
2008 Hardwicke Stakes Result
|First||Macarthur||Aidan O’Brien||Johnny Murtagh||11/8||–|
|Second||Multidimensional||Sir Henry Cecil||Ted Durcan||25/1||+ Neck|
|Third||Maraahel||Sir Michael Stoute||Richard Hills||5/1||+ 5 lengths|
EDDERY JOINS FINE COMPANY
Lester Piggot remains as the leading jockey in so many top races but it’s an honour he must share in the Hardwicke Stakes. In 1998, Pat Eddery, the 11-time Champion Jockey, made it a record-levelling win number seven as he rode Posidonas to victory. Although this final win came long after Piggott’s retirement, the pair did compete against each other many times in this contest. They were even responsible for all the four winners between 1974 and 1977 with two victories each. Seven titles is more than Eddery managed in any Group 1 race so his achievement in the Hardwicke is certainly a notable one.
Lester Piggott’s & Pat Eddery’s Hardwicke Stakes Wins
|Win Number||Lester Piggott||Pat Eddery|
|2||1961||St Paddy||1976||Orange Bay|