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The King’s Stand Stakes

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History

Most races echo historic events or commemorate important figures. This Group 1 Ascot race, though, was established by accident. But for Britain’s inclement weather, indeed, it would not even exist. The King’s Stand Stakes, a 5 furlong (1,000 metres) burn-up for three-year-old and older sprinters, came about in 1860 when heavy rain and muddy conditions meant the two-mile Royal Stand Plate could not be run. An impromptu event was thus organised, over the only raceable section of the track. The rest, as they say, is history.

We may expect to find it tough to beat the Aussies at cricket and rugby, but in this race we’ve found it hard to beat them at horseracing too. Four times in recent years, a sprinter from down under has landed the prize, each time in the horse’s first ever race in Europe.

Choisir started the trend in 2003 – four days later he doubled up in the Golden Jubilee Stakes over a furlong further – and Takeover Target took the race in 2006. A year later it was the brilliant filly Miss Andretti’s turn and in 2009 Scenic Blast was triumphant.

Takeover Target is worth particular mention.  Owned and trained by a New South Wales taxi driver, he cost just £500 at the sales thanks to his dodgy legs yet ended up winning races in Japan and Singapore as well as in the UK and Australia, amassing over £2m in prize money in the process.

And the home team also have to fear American challengers – Lady Aurelia winning for Wesley Ward and the USA in 2017.

Current leading jockey: Olivier Peslier, 2 wins (1997, 2008)
Current leading trainer: 2 wins for Edward Lynam (2013, 2014); Robert Cowell (2011, 2015)

Previous winners

Year Horse Jockey Trainer Owner Prize money

Entries

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No/Draw Horse/Jockey Age Form/Type BHA Rating Weight Trainer Odds

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Blue Point powers to King’s Stand Stakes glory

Four year-old keeps Charlie Appleby and William Buick on a high with victory in Royal Ascot sprint.

Blue Point wore down Battaash to claim top honours in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot.

The five-furlong sprint was billed as a match between the Charlie Hills-trained Battaash and Wesley Ward’s defending champion Lady Aurelia, who was bidding for a third Royal Ascot victory overall.

Battaash, who has played up in the preliminaries previously, was perfectly well behaved on this occasion and flew out of the stalls once the gates opened to take the early lead.

With Lady Aurelia failing to pick up, Battaash briefly looked to have cut loose racing inside the final two furlongs.

However, Charlie Appleby’s Blue Point (6-1) managed to reel him in late on and was well on top at the line under William Buick, scoring by a length and three-quarters.

Battaash just held on for second place, ahead of Mabs Cross in third.

Appleby – who teamed up with Buick to win the Derby through Masar in the Godolphin colours earlier this month – was thrilled to see the colt regain his best form.

He said: “The Derby was fantastic, but this horse means a lot. I’m just delighted. We’ve loved this horse since he was a two-year-old. I was confident coming into today that he was the right horse.”

Buick added: “I’m very, very pleased for the horse – he deserves it. He’s a very quick horse, I was always very comfortable where I was and I always knew he would see the race out better than Battaash and it was just a case of whether I would be close enough.”

Hills took defeat for Battaash on the chin, saying: “He ran a great race. Like I said before the race, there was not just one horse we had to beat, there were plenty of others good horses and Blue Point was one of them.

Michael Dods could look at the Nunthorpe at York for third-placed Mabs Cross. He said: “We are over the moon. We felt we had her as good as ever heading here.

“She would have probably preferred a little bit more juice in the ground, not that she needs it, but it would have helped slow down the likes of Battaash and Lady Aurelia.”

Jockey John Velazquez felt Lady Aurelia just was not at her best on the day.

Results

Position Horse Jockey Trainer Owner
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The Course

British horseracing can lay claim to plenty of blue-blooded connections, but none rival those of Ascot. The Berkshire racecourse’s roots go back 300 years to Queen Anne, who recognised the potential of a stretch of heath land while out riding just a few miles from Windsor Castle.

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The royal link has endured ever since. Today, Queen Elizabeth II and members of the Royal Family attend the world-famous ‘Royal Ascot’ meeting each year, arriving in a horse drawn carriage. Royal Ascot, meanwhile, has earned iconic status as a centrepiece of the social calendar, when the world’s best thoroughbreds face fierce competition from the world’s most extravagant fashion designs.

Ascot, which underwent a £200 million redevelopment between 2004-6, also hosts the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes sponsored by QIPCO in July, the most prestigious open-age Flat race staged in Britain.

It will also host the inaugural QIPCO British Champions Day in October which will be the richest raceday ever staged in Britain with over £4.2m in prize money and the climax to the QIPCO British Champions Series.  Including the five category finales on QIPCO British Champions Day, Ascot stages no less than 13 of the 35 QIPCO British Champions Series races.

What sort of horses like Ascot? Horses that like right-handed courses. And what sort of people? People who like champagne and scones, apparently. During the five-day Royal Ascot meeting in 2010, 60,000 bottles of champagne and 40,000 scones were consumed. Lobsters, meanwhile, don’t like Royal Ascot – 1,500 of them were eaten over that same period.

Getting there

Ascot
Berkshire
SL5 7JX

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