Princess Margaret Stakes Betting

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Each July, a two-day race meeting known as the betfair Weekend convenes at Ascot. Complemented by Ascot Summer Cocktail Party, its main event is the Group 1 King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes on the second day, King George Day, with a prize pool of £1 million. The supporting card features several exciting events, too, not the least of which is a traditional pointer towards the following season’s QIPCO 1,000 Guineas—the Group 3 Princess Margaret Stakes.

This £55,000 sprint is restricted to two-year-old Thoroughbred fillies. It covers a distance of six furlongs on the straight turf of the famous Ascot Racecourse. Each starter carries a weight of eight stone twelve pounds, with a five-pound penalty applied to previous Group 1 or Group 2 winners and three pounds added for Group 3 winners.

The Princess Margaret Stakes was inaugurated in 1946, honouring the younger daughter of King George VI. Although initially classed at the Listed level, the race gained its current Group 3 status in 1986. It went without sponsors for six decades, until the Independent Newspaper became its first title backer in 2007-08. Thereafter, Abu Dhabi supported the event, and in 2011 Juddmonte Farms took up sponsorship.

Each filly gets only one opportunity to succeed at the Princess Margaret Stakes. One of the most famous winners was Royal Heroine, who got her maiden victory here in 1982 and went to claim the inaugural running of the Breeder’s Cup Mile over nine male runners in 1984.

Another great Princess Margaret Stakes filly was Russian Rhythm, whose success here in 2002 was followed by a win in the 1,000 Guineas Stakes a year later. In her ten-race career, she took seven firsts and two seconds, ending on a high note with victory in the Group 1 Lockinge Stakes at Newbury in 2004.

A single jockey leads all others in piling up Princess Margaret Stakes wins. That’s Lester Piggott, of course, whose ten triumphs here started with Parrotia in 1958. His impressive resume of winners includes Parquetta in 1961, Soft Angels in 1965, Fleet in 1966, Star Story in 1968, Secret Kiss in 1971, Fiery Diplomat in 1972, Roussalka in 1974 and Al Stanza in 1976. His last victory was aboard Desirable in 1983.

Similarly, one trainer tops the leaderboard at the Princess Margaret Stakes. That honour goes to Sir Michael Stoute with five wins in three decades of entries. In addition to Russian Rhythm, they include Circus Ring in 1981, Hiaam in 1986, Enthused in 2000 and Visit in 2007.

Anyone looking for wagering tips at the Princess Margaret Stakes might do well to follow the bookmakers’ advice. Since the turn of the new millennium, they have correctly predicted the winners on six occasions, rating Enthused at 2/1, Russian Rhythm at evens and the 2003 victor River Belle as a joint favourite at 4/1. They also got Soar right at evens in 2004, joint-favourite Visit at 100/30 and 2009’s winner Lady Of The Desert at 5/2. The only big blemish on their record in the past decade came in 2005, when the event was conducted at Newbury instead of Ascot. That year Mixed Blessing left heavily favoured La Chunga back in fourth to finish first by two lengths and pay a handsome 25/1.

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