Run right-handed over one mile, one furlong and 212 yards, the Wolferton Stakes is a Listed event that is for horses aged four and over. Horses that have won Group 1 or Group 2 races since the previous August are not allowed to enter the race, which is likely to be why no horses has won the event more than once. The weight information for the event is as follows:
Weight: 9 stone 3 pounds
Fillies receive a 5 pound allowance
Listed race winners receive a 3 pound penalty
Group 3 race winners receive a 5 pound penalty
It is scheduled to take place on the first day of Royal Ascot, though obviously that is always open to change. It took place for the first time in 2002, which was when the meeting itself was extended to be run over five days and more races needed to be added as a result. That extension of the meeting was done in order to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. Fitting in with other races at the meeting, it received its name in honour of the village of Wolferton, which is close to Sandringham House and was initially known as the Wolferton Rated Stakes.
The Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II was held in 2002, celebrating 50 years of the queen’s reign. There were six key themes of the celebrations, which were celebration, giving thanks, service, involving the whole community, looking forward as well as back and Commonwealth. Given the long-held links between Ascot Racecourse and the Royal Family, it would have been unheard of for nothing to be done regarding the Jubilee during the week of Royal Ascot, so it was decided that an extra day should be added to the Royal Ascot meeting, which required extra races to be run.
The fifth day replaced the Heath meeting, which had traditionally been held the day after the end of the Royal meeting. The original plan was for the fifth day to be added temporarily, as a one-off celebration of the Queen. When the need to add extra races was clear, the Wolferton Stakes was one of those added to the calendar, boasting the name of the Wolferton Rated Stakes and initially being a handicap. In 2018, the handicap element of the race was taken away on account of the fact that no handicaps were allowed to hold Listed status. It was instead made into a normal Listed race.
Given the relative youth of the race, it is perhaps not all that surprising that no horse has won the race more than once. It certainly doesn’t help that horses that have won a Group 1 or Group 2 race since the previous August are not allowed to enter. There are no such restrictions around jockeys and trainers, of course, which is why both William Buick and Daniel Tudhope have ridden more than one winner apiece. John Gosden is the race’s most successful trainer at the time of writing, having trained two of Buick’s winners and another two on top of that for four wins.
About The Race
The event took place 12 times between 2012 and 2023, during which time there was plenty that we learned about how things tend to pan out in the event. Nine of the 12 winners of those races were aged four or five, for example, with 2013’s Forgotten Voice the standout exception, winning as an eight-year-old. That was when the race was a handicap, however, and after the change to a Listed race without the handicap element, there were six winners and two of them were aged six. The first was Mountain Angel in 2020, then Dubai Fire repeated the trick in 2022.
Of the 12, only two of the races were won by the favourite. Gatewood won the handicap version in 2012 when priced at 3/1, then Mahsoob was 7/4 when winning in 2015, both for John Gosden. No favourite won between 2018, when it stopped being a handicap event, and 2023. Of the 12 winners, nine of them had enjoyed at least one run out at Ascot before taking part in this race, whilst three of them had won at the racecourse before. Rather than the Starting Price, it might be the Rating that you want to keep an eye on considering 11 out of the 12 winners had a rating of 102 or higher.
Between the race’s first running and the 2022 outing, 13 of the winners came from Great Britain. Only one of them came from Ireland, although there were 263 British runners during that time compared to 21 from Ireland, so in terms of sheer numbers that makes sense. There were 34 British runners that placed compared to eight from Ireland and one from Australia, with none of the horses that were entered from Hong Kong, Japan, France and the United States of America managing to get a place, let alone with the event. If your chosen horses is rated at 102 or more, four of five-years-old and from Great Britain, the stats say they’ve got a chance.
In spite of the race’s relative youth, there are still a few interesting bits to tell you about the Wolferton Stakes, including the information that we’ve already give you. Here’s a look at the best bit of trivia:
Expect A Race Of More Than Two Minutes
Whether you look at the event during its years as a Listed handicap or you only concentrate on the time that it has been a pure Listed race, it has never been completed in less than two minutes. The quickest time as a Listed event is 2:03.71, which is how quick Monarchs Glen was for John Gosden and Frankie Dettori in 2018.
The longest that it has taken to complete the race at the time of writing was the 2:11.90 that it took Mountain Angel to get round the course in 2020, so it is fair to say that it is always worth having a look at the conditions and the Going if you want to know how long the horses are likely to be running for.
Added to the Royal Ascot meeting in 2002 in order to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, as with the other races added for that special occasion, the Wolferton Stakes was only supposed to be on the card for one year but has remained part of proceedings ever since. It was originally known as the Wolferton Rated Stakes and was a handicap event, losing the handicap element in 2018 when it was announced that handicap races couldn’t be Listed ones. Being run as a conventional Listed race ever since, it is run right-handed over one mile, one furlong and 212 yards.
The race is for horses aged four and over, with weight information of none stone and three pounds. Fillies and mares get an allowance of five pounds, whilst horses that have previously won Listed races get a three pound penalty and Group 3 winners receive a penalty of five pounds. Horses that have won a Group 1 or Group 2 race since the previous August are not allowed to take part in the race, which might help to explain why no horses has won it more than once. Both William Buick and Daniel Tudhope have enjoyed multiple wins as jockeys, as has John Gosden as a trainer.