Prince of Wales`s Stakes Betting

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Held on Day Two of the five-day Royal Ascot meeting each June, the £450,000 Prince of Wales’s Stakes is the richest of all races run here. As a Group 1 flat race, it is the main feature on a card that also includes the Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes for the best up and coming two-year-old fillies and the Group 2 Windsor Forest Stakes for older female milers.

The Prince of Wales’s Stakes was first held in 1862, when its name derived from the then Prince of Wales, the future King Edward VII. In its inaugural format, the distance covered was one mile and five furlongs, with entry restricted to three-year-old horses. In 1939, World War II interrupted the running, and there being no Prince of Wales present thereafter, the race was discontinued.

However, in 1968, the year before the investiture of Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales’s Stakes returned to the Royal Ascot schedule. For this new version, the distance was shortened to one mile and two furlongs, and entry was made open to horses aged three or upwards.

From the onset of the current grading system in 1971, the Prince of Wales’s Stakes was accorded Group 2 status. However, it was upgraded to the current level in 2000, with entry limited to Thoroughbreds of age four years and older. Each starter carries a weight of nine stone, with allowances of three pounds for fillies, mares, and four-year-olds from the Southern Hemisphere. The race is still conducted on the right-handed turf track of Ascot Racecourse, just it was nearly a century and a half ago.

Only three horses have ever won the Prince of Wales’s Stakes twice, and they all managed it back-to-back. Connaught was the first of the trio in 1969-70, followed by Mtoto in 1987-88. The most recent double victor was American-bred Muhtarram in 1994-95.

To find the leading jockey for this race, one must look back more than a century to Morny Cannon, who triumphed six times between 1895 and 1905. More recently, Willie Carson put together four wins, from his 1980 victory on Ela-Mana-Mou and the 1984 win on Morcon to his two rides on Muhtarram.

About the same time, Patrick Eddery rode four winners of his own: English Spring in 1986, Two Timing in 1989, Batshoof in 1990 and Placerville in 1993. Italian Frankie Dettori is the last jockey to have recorded repeat wins, riding to first place finishes on Fantastic Light in 2001 and Grandera in 2002.

The top trainer at the Prince of Wales’s Stakes was John Porter, who chalked up eight victories between 1888 and 1905. In the modern era, Saeed bin Suroor of Dubai has brought four champions to the starting line, including both of Dettori’s mounts plus Faithful Son in 1998 and Dubai Millennium in 2000.

Those looking for trends to wager on might do well to keep an eye on French jockeys, such as Olivier Peslier and Stephane Pasquier, who piloted winners here in 2006 and 2007, respectively. Also, the stables of the Aga Khan and Hamdan Al Maktoum, along with Godolhin Stud, have fared very well, ever since 1987.

Age, however, does not seem to matter much, as four- and five-year-olds have divided up the wins quite evenly over the past two decades. The only two exceptions were Eddery on three-year-old Placerville in 1993 and Carson aboard six-year-old Muhtarram in 1995.

Those searching for ante-post betting opportunities for the Prince of Wales’s Stakes will not find much available outside the betting exchanges, such as betfair. The High Street bookmakers and online sportsbooks tend to open their markets only a week ahead of the Royal Ascot meeting. Pool betting, on the other hand, can provide a popular alternative for avid Prince of Wales’s Stakes handicappers.

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