Royal Lodge Stakes Betting

The year 2011 has brought many changes to British horse racing, not the least of which being the inauguration of the QIPCO British Champions Series—the cause of movement for a number of fixtures. One of the affected races is the Group 2 Royal Lodge Stakes, held almost without interruption at Ascot each September since 1946.

In 2011, however, this mile-long £125,000 event has permanently shifted to Newmarket, the temporary scene of its 2005 running. It becomes part of September’s three-day Cambridgeshire Meeting, contested on the final day of racing known as the Cambridgeshire Day.

Accompanying the Royal Lodge Stakes on the card are three high-profile events. The main feature is the one-mile-and-one-furlong £160,000 Cambridgeshire Handicap Stakes, accompanied by two Group 1 races: the sun Chariot Stakes for older fillies over a mile and the Cheveley Park Stakes for two-year-old fillies over six furlongs.

The Royal Lodge Stakes is open only to two-year-old Thoroughbred colts and geldings. From 2011 forward, it will be conducted on the straight turf of the “Course of Champions,” the Rowley Mile at Newmarket Racecourse. Each starter carries eight stone twelve pounds, with a penalty of three pounds applied to any previous winner of a Group 1 or Group 2 event.

The original race was named for a royal residence within Windsor Great Park. Back in 1946, the distance was just five furlongs and horses of either gender were allowed to compete. The current distance was set in 1948 and the males-only restriction came into effect in 1987.

In 1988-89, EBF backed the race. In 1990-91, it came under william hill’s sponsorship. For several years, there was no sponsor, and then Gtech stepped forward in 1996, followed by Serpentine Gallery in 1998 and Hackney Empire in 2001. For the 2005 edition held at Newmarket, served as sponsor. Then in 2006, Juddmonte came aboard and has been associated with the event ever since. This relationship continues in 2011, despite the change of venue.

Since 2008, the Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes has been part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series. That means the winner of this race is automatically invited to participate in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf held in the United States in October. Winners here have also done well in the following year’s Epsom Derby. Among the winners of both races were St. Paddy in 1959-60, Royal Palace in 1966-67, Shirley Heights in 1977-78 and Benny the Dip in 1996-97.

One jockey rode eight different Royal Lodge Stakes winners during his career. That was Lester Piggott, who started with Pinched in 1957. He was the rider on both St. Paddy and Royal Palace, too. His other wins included Casabianca in 1963, Soft Angels in 1965, Remand in 1967, Sir Wimborne in 1975 and Dunbeath in 1982.

The leading trainer in the Royal Lodge Stakes also had eight wins, including St. Paddy and Royal Palace. Noel Murless also schooled Pinched, Casabianca and Soft Angels before winning with riders other than Piggott on Domineering in 1969, Yaroslav in 1971 and Adios in 1972.

Not far behind Murless is Henry Cecil, who trained six winners between 1979 and 1994. After a long hiatus, Cecil brought his seventh champion to the track, the 2010 winner Frankel, a sensational bay colt from Juddmonte Farms that went on to win the 2,000 Guineas in 2011 and was undefeated in six outings as of mid-year.

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