Just the one Group 1 contest on day two at Royal Ascot, but it’s a good one. Purely in terms of the prize money on offer, the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes is in fact one of the biggest races of the week. Won by superstars such as Dubai Millennium, Ouija Board and Highland Reel, this is one contest which rarely disappoints.
The race was inaugurated in 1862 in honour of the then Prince of Wales, and would be king, Edward VII. The race was discontinued between 1940 and 1967 but returned in 1968 prior to the investiture of Prince Charles. That 1968 winner was the aptly named Royal Palace.
Prince Of Wales’s Stakes Course Map (Flat Course)
The 1m 2f Prince Of Wales's Stake begins on the western section of the course circuit with runners taking two right-hand bends before entering the home straight and approaching the winning post.
Prince Of Wales’s Stakes Past Winners
|2021||Love||11/10||Aidan O'Brien||Ryan Moore|
|2020||Lord North||5/1||John Gosden||James Doyle|
|2019||Crystal Ocean||3/1||Sir Michael Stoute||Frankie Dettori|
|2018||Poet’s Word||11/2||Sir Michael Stoute||James Doyle|
|2017||Highland Reel||9/4||Aidan O’Brien||Ryan Moore|
|2016||My Dream Boat||16/1||Clive Cox||Adam Kirby|
|2015||Free Eagle||5/2||Dermot Weld||Pat Smullen|
|2014||The Fugue||11/2||John Gosden||William Buick|
|2013||Al Kazeem||11/4||Roger Charlton||James Doyle|
|2012||So You Think||4/5||Aidan O'Brien||Joseph O'Brien|
|2011||Rewilding||17/2||Mahmood Al Zarooni||Frankie Dettori|
|2010||Byword||5/2||Andre Fabre||Maxime Guyon|
|2009||Vision d'Etat||4/1||Eric Libaud||Olivier Peslier|
|2008||Duke of Marmalade||Evens||Aidan O'Brien||Johnny Murtagh|
|2007||Manduro||15/8||Andre Fabre||Stephane Pasquier|
|2006||Ouija Board||8/1||Ed Dunlop||Olivier Peslier|
|2005||Azamour||11/8||John Oxx||Michael Kinane|
|2004||Rakti||3/1||Michael Jarvis||Philip Robinson|
|2003||Nayef||5/1||Marcus Tregoning||Richard Hills|
|2002||Grandera||4/1||Saeed bin Suroor||Frankie Dettori|
About the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes
Royal Ascots has no shortage of lucrative races but the most valuable of them, by some distance, is the Prince of Wales’s Stakes. In 2019, the Group 1 event boasted a purse of £750,000 (reduced to £700,000 for 2021), making it one of the richest races in British racing. Consistently attracting a wealth of top talent as a result, the middle distance contest is one of the main highlights of the five day Royal Ascot meet.
Although the race began in 1862, it ceased to exist between 1940 and 1967. World War II sparked its initial cancellation and an absence of a Prince of Wales saw the race disbanded once the conflict was over. Triggering the return of the race in 1968 was the imminent investiture of Prince Charles. The heir to the British throne had been made Prince of Wales in 1958 but it was only around a decade later when the title was formally presented to him.
DUBAI MILLENNIUM WIN MARKS NEW ERA
How fitting it was that racing superstar, Dubai Millennium, won this race in the year 2000. It was at the same time the race was pushed-up to Group 1 status, something it’s not looked back from since. Some decent names featured on the winners list prior to this but there’s no denying there’s been a noticeable increase in standard since Dubai Millennium’s victory. Unable to enjoy the boosted reputation of the race are three-year-old horses however, as the change in grading also saw the age requirement increase from three to four.
DUBAI MILLENNIUM’S 9 VICTORIES
|June 2000||Prince Of Wales’s Stakes||Ascot||Group 1||£157,000|
|March 2000||Dubai World Cup||Nad Al Sheba||Group 1||£2.2 m|
|March 2000||al Maktoum Challenge (Third Round)||Nad Al Sheba||Listed||£35,000|
|September 1999||Queen Elizabeth II Stakes||Ascot||Group 1||£195,000|
|August 1999||Prix Jacques le Marois||Deauville||Group 1||£108,000|
|July 1999||Prix Eugene Adam||Maisons-Laffitte||Group 2||£32,000|
|May 1999||Predominate Stakes||Goodwood||Listed||£21,000|
|May 1999||Conditions Stakes||Doncaster||Class 3||£6,000|
|October 1998||Maiden Stakes||Yarmouth||Class 4||£4,000|
MY DREAM BOAT SERVES UP A SURPRISE
Since obtaining Group 1 status in 2000, the Prince of Wales’s Stakes has been a race starved of real surprises. Every winner this century set off trading at 17/2 or shorter, with the exception of 2016 champion My Dream Boat. The four-year-old helped the bookies rake in the cash as he edged out Aidan O’Brien’s Found in a historically slow renewal. A winning time of 2:11:38 is the slowest of the modern era despite not overly testing conditions at Ascot. Clearly the market leaders had a poor day at the office collectively and this allowed a long odds outsider to claim the glory.
Equally as surprising in the 2016 edition of the race was how badly much fancied Japanese superstar A Shin Hikari fared. The 8/13 favourite came into the race having won a number of high grade events in Japan as well as the Prix d’Ispahan in Chantilly. The son of Deep Impact was unable to produce on his British soil debut though as he wound up stone last in the field of six.
NOT SO FAST
It’s not unusual to see the occasional disqualification in racing but the Prince of Wales’s Stakes has attracted more than its fair share over the years. Cupbearer was the first horse to be denied victory in 1902 with the race subsequently awarded to Epsom Derby winner Ard Patrick. Trepan was the next up in 1976 as he won with the assistance of a banned substance. The most recent change in result came in 1992 as a steward’s inquiry relegated Kooyonga from first to third due to careless riding from jockey Warren O’Connor.
Amended Prince Of Wales’s Stakes Winners: 1862 – 2021
|Year||Original Winner||Amended Winner|
CALIFORNIA CHROME NEARLY A SPECIAL GUEST
Art Sherman was all set to feature California Chrome in the 2015 Prince of Wales. His horse made the journey across the Atlantic and was reportedly acclimatising well to his new surroundings. The market didn’t carry too much faith in his chances but it was nevertheless an exciting prospect to have the Kentucky Derby winner competing on British soil.
Sadly, a bruised foot, sustained just days before the race, forced him to pull out however, to the dismay of so many racing fans. He never did return to the UK after this during a career that saw the American thoroughbred collect almost $15m in prize money.