The fillies take centre stage in one of the main attractions on day three at Royal Ascot in this contest run over The Oaks trip of 1m4f.
It’s rare for an Oaks winner to attempt the double by competing in this Group 2 contest, but those to have taken part at Epsom do regularly line up.
When the race was first run in 1919 it was open to all horses aged three or four but has been restricted to three-year-old fillies since 1950.
Ribblesdale Stakes Course Map (Flat Course)
The one and a half mile Ribblesdale Stakes begins just after the bend following the winning post. The field will travel right-handed, away from the stands initially, taking two bends before the home straight.
Ribblesdale Stakes Past Winners
|2021||Loving Dream||18/1||John & Thady Gosden||Robert Havlin|
|2020||Frankly Darling||11/8||John Gosden||Frankie Dettori|
|2019||Star Catcher||4/1||John Gosden||Frankie Dettori|
|2018||Magic Wand||10/3||Aidan O’Brien||Ryan Moore|
|2017||Coronet||9/1||John Gosden||Olivier Peslier|
|2016||Even Song||15/8||Aidan O’Brien||Ryan Moore|
|2015||Curvy||9/2||David Wachman||Ryan Moore|
|2014||Bracelet||10/1||Aidan O’Brien||Joseph O’Brien|
|2013||Riposte||9/2||Lady Cecil||Tom Queally|
|2012||Princess Highway||17/2||Dermot Weld||Pat Smullen|
|2011||Banimpire||3/1||Jim Bolger||Kevin Manning|
|2010||Hibaayeb||4/1||Saeed bin Suroor||Frankie Dettori|
|2009||Flying Cloud||5/1||Saeed bin Suroor||Frankie Dettori|
|2008||Michita||100/30||John Gosden||Jimmy Fortune|
|2007||Silkwood||4/1||Michael Jarvis||Philip Robinson|
|2006||Mont Etoile||25/1||William Haggas||Michael Hills|
|2005||Thakafaat||22/1||John Dunlop||Willie Supple|
|2004||Punctilious||9/2||Saeed bin Suroor||Frankie Dettori|
|2003||Spanish Sun||9/2||Sir Michael Stoute||Richard Hughes|
|2002||Irresistable Jewel||12/1||Dermot Weld||Pat Smullen|
About the Ribblesdale Stakes
The end of World War I brought about the introduction of the Ribblesdale Stakes in 1919. Its name honours the 4th Baron of Ribblesdale who served as Master of the Buckhounds between 1892 and 1895.
Initially it was a one mile contest open to horses of both genders but both these aspects of the race have changed since. Today it stands strictly for three-year-old fillies and is run over a distance of one and a half miles.
For a small number of fillies that run in the Epsom Oaks, usually not the leading players, the Ribblesdale Stakes ends up being their next challenge. Those that perform well in the test at Ascot occasionally find themselves entered in the Irish Oaks the following month. Few runners have been able to replicate their success across the Irish Sea, although Star Catcher and Bracelet did pull off the rare double in 2019 and 2014 respectively.
THE OAKS A POOR GUIDE
With the Epsom Oaks also a one-and-a-half mile contest strictly for three year old fillies, you might expect this to be somewhat of an Oaks re-match. There’s not a great deal of overlap between the two however with usually only one or two names entering in both races.
The Ribblesdale, despite being a well-respected race with not inconsiderable prize money on offer, remains a modest step down from the Oaks. As a result, what happens at Epsom is usually of little help when trying to figure out who might win this race as the table below shows.
In 2020 the Oaks took place after the Ribblesdale Stakes meaning this race became a pointer for the following fillies’ Classic. The winner that year was Frankly Darling who went on to finish third in the Oaks.
Epsom Oaks Runners in the Ribblesdale Stakes: 2010 – 2021
|Year||Horse||Trainer||Epsom Oaks Position||Ribblesdale Position|
|2021||Divinely||Aidan O’Brien||3rd at 20/1||4th at 7/1|
|2021||Dubai Fountain||Mark Johnston||12th at 4/1||5th at 9/2|
|2020||Epsom Oaks run after Ribblesdale stakes.|
|2019||Fleeting||Aidan O’Brien||3rd at 25/1||2nd at 7/4|
|2019||Frankellina||William Haggas||6th at 12/1||6th at 6/1|
|2019||Peach Tree||Aidan O’Brien||10th at 33/1||10th at 33/1|
|2018||Magic Wand||Aidan O’Brien||4th at 4/1||1st at 10/3|
|2018||Wild Illusion||Charlie Appleby||2nd at 5/2||2nd at 9/4|
|2018||Perfect Clarity||Clive Cox||7th at 5/1||5th at 10/1|
|2017||Coronet||John Gosden||5th at 12/1||1st at 9/1|
|2017||Alluringly||Aidan O’Brien||3rd at 16/1||6th at 5/2|
|2016||Architecture||Hugo Palmer||2nd at 12/1||8th at 3/1|
|2014||Inchila||Peter Chapple-Hyam||4th at 40/1||PU at 7/2|
|2013||Gertrude Versed||John Gosden||8th at 25/1||6th at 12/1|
|2012||The Fugue||John Gosden||3rd at 11/4||2nd at 5/2|
|2012||Shirocco Star||Hughie Morrison||2nd at 16/1||3rd at 7/1|
|2012||Twirl||Aidan O’Brien||11th at 25/1||5th at 10/1|
|2012||William Haggas||Vow||4th at 9/2||6th at 11/2|
|2012||Kailani||Mahmood Al Zarooni||7th at 6/1||7th at 13/2|
|2012||Colima||Ralph Beckett||9th at 20/1||10th at 28/1|
|2011||Zain Al Boldan||Mick Channon||9th at 10/1||5th at 8/1|
|2010||Gertrude Bell||John Gosden||4th at 16/1||7th at 5/1|
|2010||Awe Inspiring||Aidan O’Brien||10th at 40/1||8th at 20/1|
|2010||Cabaret||Aidan O’Brien||12th at 40/1||9th at 33/1|
|2010||Bikini Babe||Mark Johnston||7th at 33/1||10th at 10/1|
Irish Oaks Often the Next Step
In terms of forecasting the result of the Irish Oaks, the Ribblesdale result has become increasingly useful in predicting how runners will perform in the Classic having often been of little help before the last decade. As previously mentioned, Bracelet won both races in 2014, with Star Catcher doing the same in 2019, meaning two dual winners in the space of five years. These two were the only fillies to pull off the feat in 20 years however.
Ribblesdale victors have regularly tried their luck at the Curragh, the month after their Ascot victory, with varying success coping with the step up in quality. That said, every Ribblesdale winner between 2010 and 2019 took part in the Irish Oaks, with only two finishing outside of the top five. By examining the results of recent renewals, we can see that you’ll want to approach the Ribblesdale champion with some caution in the Irish Classic should they make the trip over the Irish Sea, though they may well be in the frame.
LUCKLESS STOUTE UNABLE TO Add to Victories
No trainer has won at Royal Ascot more times than Sir Michael Stoute but it’s been a very long time since the veteran trainer celebrated success in this Group 2 contest. His most recent win, came during the third renewal of the new millennium, when Spanish Moon was victorious in 2003.
You can’t accuse him of not trying to add to his record in this contest but his luck appears to have dried up. The knighted trainer regularly has a filly involved but none have had quite enough to win this race. Mori came agonizingly close in 2017 but lost out to Coronet during the final few strides.
Sir Michael Stoute’s Ribblesdale Runners: 2004 to 2021
|2019||Queen Power||Silvestre De Sousa||9/2||4th|
|2018||Sun Maiden||James Doyle||3/1||3rd|
|2016||Queen’s Trust||Olivier Peslier||12/1||4th|
|2016||Shall We||Ted Durcan||25/1||5th|
|2009||July Jasmine||Mick Kinane||8/1||5th|
|2008||Sovereign’s Honour||Ryan Moore||10/1||7th|
|2008||Lost In Wonder||Ryan Moore||25/1||11th|