There are a number of Group 3 races run during the course of Royal Ascot, with the Jersey Stakes being one of the last of them at the time of writing. It is, as is often the case at the meeting, limited to three-year-olds, but there is no specification about the gender. It is run over seven furlongs, so you can expect a quick conclusion to proceedings, whilst the following weight information is in play for the horses taking part in the race:
- Weight: 9 stone, 1 pound
- Fillies are given a 3 pound allowance
- Group 1 & Group 2 race winners are given a penalty of five pounds
- Group 3 race winners are given a penalty of 3 pounds
The decision to create the race, which was taken in 1919 came about in the wake of the fact that a series of races called the Triennial Stakes was discontinued after the First World War. The Triennial Stakes was made up of a race over five furlongs for two-year-olds, an event over seven furlongs for three-year-olds and a race for four-year-olds that was run over two miles. The idea was that the horses would return each year to compete over the longer distance. The Jersey Stakes was brought in to replace the second leg of the series.
If you’ve read any of the other pages on this site then you’ll know that there are numerous different races that were named in honour of one of the Master of the Buckhounds at one point or another. The Jersey Stakes fits in with that tradition, being named for the fourth Earl of Jersey, who had taken up the role of Master of the Buckhounds during the later part of the 18th century. The Master of the Buckhounds, of course, was the monarch’s representative at Royal Ascot, with the actual role being to oversee a hunting pack as a buckhound is slightly smaller than a staghound.
George Villiers was the fourth Earl of Jersey and served as the Master of the Buckhounds between 1782 and 1783, which was apparently considered good enough to have a race named after him during the week of Royal Ascot. That, in many ways, is something of a perfect demonstration of the links between Ascot and the Royal Family, which is so close that someone only needs to have been in service for a short period of time to be honoured in such a manner. The race takes place on the final day of Royal Ascot week, at the time of writing, though obviously that can change.
This is an event that will often see horses entered into it if they have previously run in the 1,000 Guineas or 2,000 Guineas but not quite managed to see out the mile of the race. There have been some top-class winners of the event over the years, including the likes of Red Alert in 1974, Gay Fandango a year later and Indian Ridge in 1988. The fact that it is run on the last day of the meeting means that it is one of the last Group 3 races to take place at Royal Ascot, seeing out an excellent week of racing in general.
About The Race
When it comes to success in the Jersey Stakes, there are two jockeys that stand head and shoulders above all of the others. If you know much about flat racing then you won’t be all that surprised to see the name of Lester Piggott on the list, who won the event six times between 1961 and 1981. Similarly, the name of Sir Gordon Richards will be known to many, with the knight of the realm enjoying the same number of victories between 1929 and 1953. They aren’t the only multiple winners, however. The likes of Richard Hughes, Pat Eddery, Michael Kinane and Bill Williamson won it three times in their careers.
When it comes to the best trainers, there is a similar story at play. Barry Hills, Charlie Appleby, David Loder, David Elsworth Henry Cecil, Jeremy Noseda, Jeremy Tree, John Gosden, Noel Murless, Paddy Prendergast, and Richard Fahey have all won the event twice. Richard Hannon Senior won it three times and Aidan O’Brien won it on four occasions, but none of them can get close to the six times that Sir Michael Stoute trained the winner during his career. That only one of those wins came thanks to Lester Piggott is a testament to the trainer’s ability.
If you’d like to know some of the interesting trivia associated with the race then this is the place to come. Given that it is relatively young in the world of Royal Ascot, there isn’t as much to say as with some of the other races run during the week.
Even so, there is still some interesting stuff to say:
Look Into The Competitors
As any sensible bettor knows, the best thing that you can do before placing a wager on an event is to have a look at what has happened to the horses competing in the past. Between 2012 and 2022, eight of the ten winners had either won or come second in either one or both of their previous races, for example. Half of them had taken part in a Classic trial, with the same number having yet to win as a three-year-old by the time they enjoyed their success in the Jersey Stakes. The longest odds winner came home at 25/1, whilst four of them were either favourite or joint-favourite.
Expect A Relatively Fast-Paced Event
Given the fact that the race is run over seven furlongs, it perhaps shouldn’t be all that much of a surprise that the event is run relatively quickly. The fastest time that a winner has made it home at the time of writing is 1:22.82, which is the time that Proclamation needed to win the event in 2005. The next fastest was Mustajeeb, who was nearly two seconds slower nine years later. The longest that the race has taken for the winner to make it home is 1:35.68, which is what Ardkinglass needed back in 1993. To prove that it isn’t just older races that ran slowly, Creative Force took 1:29.06 in 2021.
At Royal Ascot, Group 3 races provide a thrilling display of talent and the Jersey Stakes is no exception. Open exclusively to three-year-olds, regardless of gender, this exciting race covers seven furlongs, ensuring a fast-paced spectacle for those watching. Horses compete under specific weight conditions of nine stone and one pound, with fillies granted a three-pound allowance. Group 1 & Group 2 race winners receive a penalty of five pounds, whilst Group 3 race winners carry a three-pound penalty. Introduced in 1919 as a replacement for the Triennial Stakes series, the Jersey Stakes celebrates the legacy of the fourth Earl of Jersey.
Over the years, the Jersey Stakes has witnessed top-class champions such as Red Alert in 1974, Gay Fandango in 1975 and Indian Ridge in 1988. Taking place on the final day of Royal Ascot, this Group 3 race concludes an exhilarating week of flat racing action. Lester Piggott and Sir Gordon Richards stand out with six victories each as jockeys. Leading trainers include Sir Michael Stoute with a remarkable six wins, Aidan O’Brien with four triumphs and Richard Hannon Senior with three. Over recent years, most winners had previously secured a top-two finish in one or both of their last races, and half of them had participated in a Classic trial.