Cumberland Lodge Stakes Betting

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Fans of racing at Ascot may be familiar with the Cumberland Lodge Stakes as a featured flat race in late September. However, with the inauguration of QIPCO British Champions Day in the autumn of 2011, this Group 3 event has been rescheduled. It is now part of the Ascot Racecourse Beer Festival in association with CAMRA and Fuller’s, held on the second day of the festival in October, along with the Group 3 Bengough Stakes.

The £65,000 Cumberland Lodge Stakes covers a distance of one mile and four furlongs on the right-handed turf of the famous Ascot track. Entry is open to Thoroughbreds aged three years and upwards. The youngest runners each carry a weight of eight stone six pounds, while those aged four years and older must bear nine stone even.

There is an allowance of three pounds for fillies and mares. Penalties are applied to entries that have finished first in meetings since 28th February of the same year. They amount to seven pounds for Group 1 winners, five pounds for Group 2 winners and three pounds for Group 3 winners.

When this race was first contested in 1951, its length was two miles. The distance was reduced to the current mile and a half the following year. The name of the event derives from a house located in Windsor Great Park that is called Cumberland Lodge. The property served as a stud farm, where two great 18th-century Thoroughbreds, Herod and Eclipse, were foaled.

For two years starting in 1965, the race was temporarily renamed the John Collier Stakes. In 1967, it was known as the David Robinson Stakes. By 1971, when Group 3 status was accorded to the event, the title had reverted to the Cumberland Lodge Stakes.

From the late 1980s through 1993, Hoover proved a reliable sponsor for the event. For several years thereafter, the race had no backers, and then a parade of supporters began in 1998, led by Gardner Merchant. Between 2000 and 2005, the Cumberland Lodge Stakes was sponsored in turn by Old Vic, Royal Court Theatre, Young Vic Theatre, Tommy’s (The Baby Charity), Barnardo’s and Ouija Board, Wilko and Liverpool Vets. At last in 2006, Grosvenor Casinos came on board and have remained the title holder ever since.

Many great horses have had success in the Cumberland Lodge Stakes, but two of them stand out as the only double victors. Knockroe delivered a pair of victories back-to-back in 1971-72, and then High Accolade duplicated the feat in 2003-04.

Knockroe’s rider, Lester Piggott, is one of two jockeys to accumulate seven victories here. His first came with Park Top in 1970, and he got the other four aboard Scottish Rifle in 1973, Calaba in 1975, Bruni in 1976 and Critique in 1981. Equaling Piggott’s achievement was Pat Eddery. His seven wins came atop Orange Bay in 1977, Fordham in 1978, Fingal’s Cave in 1980, Lafontaine in 1982, Moon Madness in 1987, Assatis in 1988 and Tralos in 1989.

High Accolade’s trainer, Marcus Tregoning, leads all others with five triumphs in the Cumberland Lodge Stakes. He got his first win from Nayef in 2001 and later added first-place finishers Mubtaker and Mawatheeq in 2005 and 2009, respectively.

Bookmakers have had considerable success in picking winners in the Cumberland Lodge Stakes since the turn of the new millennium, correctly predicting seven of the first eleven. They got all of Tregoning’s winners correct—from Nayef at 8/13 to Mubtaker at 5/6 and Mawatheeq at 7/2. They had High Accolade’s first win right at 9/4, but narrowly missed on the second casting third-place Bandari as the favourite at 7/4.

The three other top-rated entries that have won the Cumberland Lodge Stakes of late were Mutamam at 4/6 in 2000, Systematic at 1/2 in 2002 and Sixties Icon at 11/10 in 2008. To find a winner at long odds, one must look all the way back to the 1980s, when Tralos prevailed at 10/1.

At age eight, Mubtaker was the oldest horse to win the Cumberland Lodge Stakes. No three-year-old has won since High Accolade’s first outing, and four-year-olds have owned four of the most recent five victories.

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