King’s Stand Stakes Betting Tips & Predictions – Ascot, Tuesday 18th June 2019

There’s plenty to look forward to on the opening day at Royal Ascot, with no fewer than three Group 1 contests in the first four races alone. Each of these top level affairs has its individual selling points, but in terms of sheer speed and adrenaline, it’s hard to top this “blink and you’ll miss it” sprint.

As ever this looks to have attracted the best of the best from the five furlong division, but for us there is one who stands out a little more than the rest. It’s set to be a close battle but all things considered, we fancy Charlie Hills to follow in the footsteps of his father, Barry, by claiming his first ever King’s Stand winner.

Top Tips

Battaash to win @ 2/1

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

Race Info

The minimum 5f is the trip for this Group 1 contest set to be run on soft ground and offering £500,000 in total prize money.

GoingDistanceGradePrize MoneyRunnersEW Terms
Soft 5f Group 1 £500,000 17 1/5 1-3

Recent Winners

This has been a good race for the overseas raiders in recent year with the USA, France, Australia and New Zealand all tasting success in the past decade. With two Irish winners also featuring over this period, the home team have regularly been outgunned here.

There has been quite an even spread when it comes to the age of the winner in the past 10 years. Dual winner Sole Power has nevertheless been the only horse older than six to prevail in this time.

2018 Blue Point 6/1 Charlie Appleby William Buick
2017 Lady Aurelia 7/2 Wesley Ward John Velazquez
2016 Profitable 4/1 Clive Cox Adam Kirby
2015 Goldream 20/1 Robert Cowell Martin Harley
2014 Sole Power 5/1 Edward Lynam Richard Hughes

Analysis: Battaash facing Blue Point rematch

Last year’s fascinating King’s Stand renewal saw Blue Point and Battaash battle it out down the closing stages. On that day it was the latter who weakened with Charlie Appleby’s horse able to pull ahead, crossing the line a length and three quarters clear. Neither horse has lost any ability since then but the recent spell of heavy rainfall could well see the tables turned this time.

Blue on point in Meydan

In the hunt for some lucrative prize money, Goldolphin and Charlie Appleby sent Blue Point to the UAE earlier in the year where he won three consecutive races. Securing well over a £1m in the process, it’s been a fabulous start for 2019 for their five-year-old bay horse. Meydan does offer a turf test but it’s never easy to transfer form from one continent to another. A UK return didn’t bother Blue Point (3/1) at all when winning this race last year but this time he’ll be returning to rather unfamiliar conditions. Only twice before has the 123 rated horse raced on anything softer than good.

Battaash to make a splash

While many people gloomily looked out their windows at all the recent rainfall, Charlie Hills would have been rather happier about things. Softening ground conditions will do the chances of his five-year-old no harm whatsoever. It’s on soft ground on which Battaash (2/1) comfortably won the Prix de l'Abbaye de Longchamp in October 2017 as well the King George Stakes at Goodwood. There’s no doubting his condition coming into this race either. Recently spotted out at Haydock Park, the son of Dark Angel clocked a fast time despite not giving his everything during what was a straightforward win.

Mabs Cross flies flag for the ladies

We’ve not had a mare win this race since Miss Andretti in 2007 but Mabs Cross (9/1) is out to put an end to that. Michael Dods has no other destinations in mind for the five-year-old and nor should he with his mare trading as the fourth favourite in this prestigious contest. There’s no question if the minimum distance will suit as this is her 14th consecutive start over five furlongs and she has the class too as her Prix de l'Abbaye de Longchamp win last October shows. Consistency? That’s no concern either as the talented mare has never finished outside the top four for 15 races running.

Final Verdict: Battaash to win

There’s plenty to like about Mabs Cross but it’s just hard to think she’ll have quite enough about her to edge out the supreme Battaash. Charlie Hills’ sprinter is a true class act, fully capable of avenging his defeat last year now that conditions at Ascot are in his favour.


Statue of King Edward VII
Rockydsuza, Wikimedia Commons

There are many reasons to complain about British weather but without it we’d not be able to enjoy the King’s Stand Stakes every year. The race only formed when heavy rain made it impossible to run the two mile Royal Stand Plate at Ascot in 1860. Still needing something to entertain the crowd, organisers shortened the contest to five furlongs as no more of the course was useable.

The success of the inaugural race meant that the newly formed sprint race instantly became a regular fixture at Ascot. Before too long it was the most important sprint of the Royal Meeting. Back then it was known as the Queen’s Stand Plate but the death of King Edward VII provoked a name change in 1901. It remains as a major player of Royal Ascot and is available to all horses aged three and above.

Foreign visitors feeling at home

The King’s Stand Stakes has regularly had decent international presence thanks to its involvement in the Global Sprint Challenge. It first became part of the series in 2005 alongside five other races. By being able to attract a high calibre of horses from overseas, three years later the King’s Stand Stakes regained the Group 1 status it lost in 1988. Today it stands as the fourth leg in the series and is one of two races to feature on British soil, the Golden Jubilee Stakes being the other.

While fantastic news for the race itself, British horses have not fared too well since the creation of the Global Sprint Challenge. Winners have originated from all over the globe with locally trained horses struggling to enjoy anything in the way of a home advantage. The chart of winners below highlights just how well overseas contenders have fared in this Group 1 event. It’s unclear if the trend will continue however as in 2018 the Global Sprint Challenge was suspended following a quarantine dispute between Australia and Hong Kong.

Chart Showing the Birthplace of King's Stand Winners Between 2005 and 2018

Minute mark consistently broken

On a straight track with plenty of space and little draw bias, the King’s Stand Stakes offers all horses a very fair test of their ability. There is an uphill climb towards the line at Ascot but this has not prevented horses from consistently recording impressive times in more recent years. In the 18 renewals before 2005, when the race temporarily moved to York, only five horses clocked a winning time under a minute. Since moving back to Ascot in 2006, Profitable is the only winner not to break the 60 second barrier.

Fastest Recorded King's Stand Winning Times

Horse Year Time Horse Year Time
Miss Andretti 2007 00:57.44 Lady Aurelia 2017 00:57.45
Chineur (York) 2005 00:57.55 Blue Point 2018 00:58.14
Sole Power 2013 00:58.88 Sole Power 2014 00:58.95
Equiano 2010 00:59.00 Goldream 2015 00:59.11
Last Tycoon 1986 00:59.28 Equiano 2008 00:59.35
Pivotal 1996 00:59.49 Prohibit 2011 00:59.50
Scenic Blast 2009 00:59.54 Piccolo 1995 00:59.67
Choisir 2003 00:59.68 Little Bridge 2012 00:59.69
Takeover Taget 2006 00:59.79 Bay Express 1974 00:59.91

Don’t blink at the finish

Regularly able to attract a large field of high class sprinters, this is a race often decided by the finest of margins. The fact that runners will head to either the far or near rail only make judging who is ahead an even harder task. We’re yet to see a dead heat during the race’s long history but regularly there is only a split second separating the horse leading the pack. Goldream’s victory in 2015 is the most slender of recent renewals. The 20/1 shot edged out Medicean Man by a short head with Muthmir just a neck’s length behind.

King's Stand Winning Distances: 2011 to 2018

Year Horse Winning Margin
2018 Blue Point 1 ¾ lengths
2017 Lady Aurelia 3 lengths
2016 Profitable Neck
2015 Goldream Short head
2014 Sole Power 1 ¼ lengths
2013 Sole Power Neck
2012 Little Bridge ¾ lengths
2011 Prohibit ½ length

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