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The Prince Of Wales’s Stakes

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History

Run at Ascot over 1 mile and 2 furlongs (2,000 metres), the Prince of Wales’s Stakes is the third middle-distance race in the QIPCO British Champions Series calendar, following the Investec Coronation Cup and Investec Derby. The race, established in 1862, failed to reappear when racing resumed after World War II. The reason? There was no Prince of Wales at the time. With Prince Charles’s investiture imminent, however, it reappeared in 1968.

In 2000 the race was restricted to four-year-olds or older (prior to that, three-year-olds had been eligible to run) and upgraded to Group 1 status. In that very first running of the race as a top level contest, it was won by a true superstar, Dubai Millennium.

Sheikh Mohammed, the colt’s owner, renamed him once his potential on the training grounds became clear and he lived up to all the hype with a performance of searing brilliance.

He came home eight lengths clear of his nearest pursuer, but rather like Harbinger following his similarly devastating victory in the 2010 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes (sponsored by Betfair), injury prevented Dubai Millennium from running again.

The French have an excellent recent record in the race, having sent over Byword (2010), Vision D’Etat (2008) and Manduro (2007).

Current leading jockeys: Frankie Dettori, 3 wins (2001, 2002, 2011)

Current leading trainer: Saeed bin Suroor, 4 wins (1998, 2000-2)

Previous winners

Year Horse Jockey Trainer Owner Prize money

Entries

Going/Track

Weather

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

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Poet’s Word gets script right for Sir Michael Stoute

Sir Michael Stoute became the winning-most trainer at Royal Ascot as Poet’s Word conquered Cracksman in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot on Wednesday.

Ridden by James Doyle, Poet’s Word stalked Cracksman in the early stages of the ten-furlong QIPCO British Champions Series contest and produced a potent turn of foot in the straight to score comfortably by two and a quarter-lengths from the runner-up, who went off 2-5 favourite but raced indolently.

Stoute, who trained his first Royal Ascot winner back in 1977 with Etienne Gerard in the Jersey Stakes, had been tied on 75 victories at the Royal Meeting with the late Sir Henry Cecil.

Discussing the achievement Stoute said: “As I said the other night, Henry did most of his training when it was a four-day meeting, so I have had an advantage.Nobody respected him greater than I did as a trainer.

“Cracksman beat Poet’s Word a long way here last time [in the QIPCO Champion Stakes]. Maybe Cracksman is not at his very best now but we have beaten the others comprehensively. Poet’s Word is a very consistent, brave, sound horse.”

Doyle said: “They went a hell of a pace all the way. I could see Cracksman even after going a furlong was under pressure to hold his pitch. I thought, ‘I am going easy,’ and from Swinley Bottom to the home turn I was travelling all over him.

“It was just a case of hanging on and in the back of my mind I knew this horse stays a mile and a half, so I still wanted to press the button early enough. He is so tough and fair play to everyone at Sir Michael’s.”

John Gosden, trainer of Cracksman, believes the Frankel four-year-old did not have his mind on the job in hand.

“He is a clever horse and to that extent, as I said earlier before the race, he was welcoming all the fillies that were walking back from the Duke Of Cambridge on the way back to the stables,” he said. “I think we need to concentrate his mind, as we know the ability is there.

“I make absolutely no excuses whatsoever. The other horse [Poet’s Word] had him covered from two out. To my mind, he is just playing around a little bit. The ability was there but I didn’t feel he was being exactly generous with it today. You did notice from a long way out that Frankie [Dettori] was having to nudge and nudge him.”

Charlie Appleby said of third-placed Hawkbill: “The Juddmonte International [at York] looks like being his forte – it’s easier to get on the lead in a race like that, rather than having to dictate it yourself as you do overseas.”

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.

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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