When Royal Ascot comes around, there is a wealth of interest not only in the races that are taking place on the course but on the members of the Royal Family that are in attendance off it. As you might imagine, there are a large number of races named after numerous members of the Royal household or, at the very least, the roles that are given to people as a result of the fortune of their birth. The Prince of Wales’s Stakes is just an event, originally named after the specific person in the role but now most commonly associated with whoever happens to be the titular prince at the time.
Run over more than a mile and inaugurated in 1862, the event is open to horses aged four and over and there are numerous weight conditions attached to it. At the time of writing, this is the only race that takes place on the second day of the Royal Ascot meeting that is in the Group 1 classification of races, with the others being two Group 2 events, a Group 3 race and two Handicaps. Discontinued after the Second World War on account of there being now Prince of Wales in the Royal Family, it returned in 1968 and has been part of the meeting ever since.
The Prince of Wales’s Stakes is aimed at horses aged four and over, regardless of their gender. In that sense, it stands in stark contrast to the St. James’s Palace Stakes, for example, which takes place the day before and is limited to three-year-old colts. The weight information around the race is as follows:
- Four-year-olds and over: 9 stone 2 pounds
- Fillies & mares allowance: 3 pounds
- Allowance for four-year-olds from the Southern Hemisphere: 3 pounds
Run over one mile, one furlong and 212 yards, the race was first run in 1862. At the time, the event was for horses aged three and was run over one mile and five furlongs. This remained the case until it was discontinued in the wake of World War II because there was no Prince of Wales. A year before the investiture of Prince Charles, 1968, the race returned but boasted a new distance of one mile and two furlongs. At that point, it was open to horses aged three and over, which might explain why it was put in the Group 2 class when the modern classifications were introduced in 1971.
At the turn of the millennium, the race was upgraded to become a Group 1 event, which was also the same point at which the minimum age of horses taking part in the race was lifted to four. At the time of writing, the race is run on the second day of Royal Ascot and only two horses aged six have won it since 1968. The first of these was Muhtarram, ridden by Willie Carson, in 1995, whilst the second was So You Think in 2012 with Joseph O’Brien on the back. There have also only been two three-year-olds to win it in the form of Two Timing in 1989 and Placerville in 1993.
About The Race
The Prince of Wales’s Stakes is a prestigious Group 1 flat horse race held annually during the Royal Ascot meeting in England. The race was named after the Prince of Wales at the time, who would gone to become King Edward VII. It retained the title in the years that followed as a nod to the person who holds the title traditionally held by the heir apparent to the British throne. The Prince of Wales’s Stakes is open to horses aged four years and older and is run over a distance just shy of 1 mile and 2 furlongs on Ascot’s turf track. It is one of the key races at Royal Ascot and attracts top-class horses from around the world.
The race was first established in 1862 and has since become one of the most important middle-distance races in the British racing calendar. It is known for its competitive field and often features horses that have proven their talent in other prestigious races such as the Derby, Oaks or international events like the Breeders’ Cup. Over the years, the Prince of Wales’s Stakes has seen some remarkable champions, including legendary horses like Brigadier Gerard, Dubai Millennium and Ouija Board. There are three horses that have won it twice at the time of writing:
- Connaught (1969, 1970)
- Mtoto (1987, 1988)
- Muhtarram (1994, 1995)
The Prince of Wales’s Stakes holds a prominent position within the Royal Ascot program, usually being run on the second day of the meeting and being the only Group 1 race of the day. It attracts significant attention from racing enthusiasts and spectators worldwide, who eagerly anticipate the clash of top-class horses vying for glory. As with any horse race, it is important to note that specific details about the Prince of Wales’s Stakes may have changed between the time of writing this page and the time that you read it. Of course, we endeavour to keep the page as up-to-date as possible.
As with many other top-class races held during Royal Ascot week, there is some interesting trivia about the race that it is worth reading about if you want to add a bit of colour to your understanding of the event. Here is a look at some of it:
One of the most interesting things about the race is that it has undergone distance changes throughout its history. Originally run over 1 mile and 5 furlongs, it was shortened to its current distance of just shy of 1 mile and 2 furlongs in 2000. This adjustment was aimed at attracting a higher calibre of middle-distance horses. It obviously did its job considering the fact that it has remained at its current length ever since. That isn’t to say that further changes won’t occur in the future, depending on the Jockey Club’s desire to ensure the race’s place in the record books.
It’s A Race For Four-Year-Olds…Unless It Isn’t
If you were to have a look at the age of the winners of the race during its modern history, you’ll see the number 4 pop up the most often. There is no question that four-year-olds have dominated the event at various times, but that doesn’t mean that horses of a different age haven’t also had their success. Two three-year-olds have won it in the modern era, as have two six-year-olds, but five-year-olds seem the most likely to challenge the dominance of the four-year-olds. Across ten years between 2013 and 2022, there were five five-year-old winners and five successful four-year-olds.
The Prince of Wales’s Stakes is a prestigious Group 1 horse race held on the flat during the Royal Ascot meeting. Established in 1862, the race was named after the Prince of Wales at the time, who later became King Edward VII. It now retains its name as a tribute to the holder of the Prince of Wales title. Open to horses aged four and over, the race covers a distance just under 1 mile and 2 furlongs on Ascot’s turf track. It is renowned for attracting top-class horses from around the world. And Over the years the race has featured notable champions such as Brigadier Gerard, Dubai Millennium and Ouija Board
Three horses have won the race twice, with Connaught being the first to manage it in 1969 and 1970 before Mtoto and Muhtarram repeated the trick. The Prince of Wales’s Stakes is a highlight of the Royal Ascot program, typically taking place on the second day of the meeting and being the only Group 1 race on that day. It garners significant attention from racing enthusiasts and global spectators that eagerly anticipate the clash of elite horses. The race’s distance has undergone changes over time, with the current distance established in 2000 to attract high-quality middle-distance horses.