Tercentenary Stakes Betting

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Day Three of the five-day Royal Ascot Meeting each June is colloquially referred to as Ladies’ Day, owing to the parade of designer creations and millinery masterpieces that it attracts. It is also one of the top racedays of the British flat racing season, featuring the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes over one mile and four furlongs, the five-furlong Group 2 Norfolk Stakes, and the all-important Group 1 Gold Cup over two miles and four furlongs.

Joining these great contests on a six-race card is the Group 3 Tercentenary Stakes, a flat horse race for three-year-old Thoroughbreds. It is run on the right-handed turf of the Ascot Racecourse over a distance of one mile and two furlongs, with a total prize purse worth £70,000.

All of the runners in this event carry nine stone even, with an allowance of three pounds for fillies. A penalty of four pounds is applied to any winner of a previous Group 3 race at seven furlongs or longer.

When this event was inaugurated in the 1908s, it was first known as the Churchill Stakes, a Class B race that covered a distance of one mile and four furlongs. In those days, it was part of the Ascot Heath, a Saturday fixture conducted after the conclusion of the then four-day Royal Ascot Meeting.

When the race became know as the Churchill Conditions Stakes in 1993, it attracted only three starters, won by the 1/4 favourite White Muzzle. In 1996, a car dealer known as Milcars became the sponsor and remained so through its upgrade to a Class A Listed race in 1999 and its re-registration under the name “New Stakes,” a title formerly bestowed on the Royal Ascot`s Norfolk Stakes. In 2000, the distance was shortened by two furlongs to the current length.

When the Royal Ascot Meeting was extended to five days in 2002 to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, the race was moved to Day Three, and Milcars relinquished sponsorship. The event became known as the Hampton Court Stakes, honouring a royal residence of the Tudor period.

The most recent change can in 2011, when the race was promoted to Group 3 status. It was subsequently renamed the Tercentenary Stakes, marking the 300th anniversary of the Ascot Racecourse, which conducted its first race meeting in 1711.

Although each Thoroughbred gets only one opportunity to claim victory in the Tercentenary Stakes, two jockeys have ridden three winners apiece in the event. The first was Steve Cauthen aboard Russian Steppe in 1987, Spritsail in 1989 and Middle Kingdom in 1990. He was followed by Richard Hills atop Falak in 1997, Port Vila in 2000 and Zaham in 2007.

Similarly, two trainers have brought three winners each to the Tercentenary Stakes. The first to do so was Henry Cecil with Russian Steppe and Spritsail, joined by Burning Sun in 2002. Next came Peter Chapple-Hyam with White Muzzle before adding Astor Place in 1996 and Dark Moondancer in 1998.

Those seeking to place winning wagers at long-odds would have done well in 2011 to have chosen Pisco Sour at 20/1. The U.S.-bred colt was the first to succeed at double digits since Snoqualmie Boy romped to victory at 33/1 in 2006, preceded four years earlier by Burning Sun at 14/1 as well as the 2001 winner 2001 Freefourinternet at 20/1.

Favourites have fared rather well here, too, during the past decade, as proven by 3/1 Indigo Cat in 2005 and Zaham’s victory at 7/2 odds. The most recent favourite to come home first was Afsare, paying 9/4 in 2010.

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