Ribblesdale Stakes Betting

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Conducted on Day Three of the five-day Royal Ascot meeting each June, the £125,000 Ribblesdale Stakes shares the afternoon with the Group 2 Norfolk Stakes and one of the biggest races run hereóthe Group 1 Gold Cup. Another major event on the card is the Hampton Court Stakes, recently renamed the Tercentenary Stakes to commemorate 300 years of racing here. This third day of the meeting is unofficially known as Ladiesí Day, referring to the parade of designer fashion and millinery masterpieces that it draws.

The Ribblesdale Stakes is a Group 2 flat race that covers a distance of one mile and four furlongs on the right-handed turf of the Ascot Racecourse. Entry is restricted to three-year-old fillies and mares, each carrying eight stone twelve pounds. A penalty of three pounds is applied to previous winners of Group 1 or Group 2 races of a mile and a quarter or longer.

When this event was inaugurated in 1919, it was named in honour of the 4th Baron Ribblesdale, Thomas Lister, who served at Ascot as the Master of the Buckhounds between 1892 and 1895. Prior to World War II, the distance covered was exactly a mile and any Thoroughbred aged three or four was allowed to enter. After the war, the distance was increased to one and a half miles, and from 1950 onwards, only female three-year-olds have been permitted to run.

Some of the wealthiest stables in flat racing target the Ribblesdale Stakes. Many of the fillies featured here have previously run in the Epsom Oaks or are scheduled to race in the Irish Oaks in July.

One of the first fillies of the modern era to make her mark in the Ribblesdale Stakes and beyond was Park Top. In 1967, she got her debut win in this race and then went on to successes in the Coronation Cup, the Hardwicke Stakes and the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

The jockey with the most victories here is the irrepressible Italian pilot Frankie Dettori. His half dozen wins started with Phantom Gold in 1995. Then he teamed up with trainer Saeed bin Suroor and brought five of Godolphin Stables entries to the finish line first: Bahr in 1998, Fairy Queen in 1999, Punctilious in 2004, Flying Cloud in 2009 and Hibaayeb in 2010.

Preceding bin Suroor at the top of the trainerís leader board were Henry Cecil and John Dunlop with five triumphs each. Cecil got his with Catalpa in 1976, Strigida in 1981, Queen Midas in 1987, Alydaress in 1989 and Yashmak in 1997. Dunlopís came with High Hawk in 1983, Gull Nook in 1986, Third Watch in 1991, Thawakib in 1993 and Thakafaat in 2005.

Playing short odds at the Ribblesdale Stakes Short is no safe strategy. Since the turn of the millennium, five entries have won this race at double-digits. In 2006, Mont Etoile paid 25/1, following up on Thakafaatís 22/1 win the previous year. During the same decade, the only favourite to live up her top billing was the John Gosden-schooled Michita in 2008. A good betting tactic here is to wager on long odds runners that have previously won over distances more than a mile.

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