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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), Sir Michael Stoute, 4 wins (1981, 1991, 2018, 2019)

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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Crystal Ocean leaves rivals out of their depth

The Royal Ascot dream team of Sir Michael Stoute and Frankie Dettori combined to land the £750,000 Prince of Wales’s Stakes with the marvellously consistent Crystal Ocean.

Carrying the colours of Sir Evelyn de Rothschild, Crystal Ocean (3/1) showed utmost gameness in the home straight, seeing off pace-maker Hunting Horn, who finished fourth, and then that horse’s stablemate, the favourite Magical (13/8).

Magical seemed likely to pick off Crystal Ocean as they approached the furlong pole, but he would not yield, and was pulling clear of the filly as they reached the line in the QIPCO British Champions Series contest

He scored by one and a quarter lengths, while third-placed Waldgeist (4/1) was three and a quarter lengths adrift of Magical.

“Crystal Ocean is a high-class horse and I am delighted to have won a Group One with him now. He is just a very admirable racehorse. It’s marvellous to train a Group One horse like this,” Stoute said.

“I thought he ran very well in the QIPCO Champion Stakes last year [over today’s course and distance] and better than it appeared [when six-lengths second to Cracksman]. He may be better over a mile and a half, but I felt he was a pretty good horse over 10 furlongs, and he proved that today.

Crystal Ocean has yet to finish outside the first three in 15 races, and his record now reads eight wins, five seconds and two thirds.

He is another example of Stoute’s superb achievements with older horses. The trainer’s record as Royal Ascot’s most successful handler has now been extended to 80 victories, while Dettori, the meeting’s winning-most jockey, has now reached 62 winners.

“I knew Crystal Ocean stayed really well, so I kicked on early and did not hear anything coming. The rest is history,” Dettori said. “As soon as I knew Enable was going for the Eclipse, I rang Sir Michael’s office and said I was available. He was quick to react and called me in the afternoon to say I’d got the ride and I was delighted.

“He’s an ultra-consistent horse, he’s a heavyweight of the sport, never runs a bad race.”

Moore said of the runner-up: “Magical ran a cracker. The ground got bad, but she ran well.”

Andre Fabre, trainer of Waldgeist, said: “He ran well. The ground was not an issue as he has won on soft. The King George could be a possible.”

William Haggas regretted running Sea Of Class, who finished fifth, because of the ground but her jockey James Doyle said: “We learnt a lot about her today, mainly the fact that she doesn’t like the deep ground that she encountered out there today.

“She felt in great nick and travelled really well. We were a bit too far back, but the main thing was just to get a run into her and start her off – we’re very happy with her.”

Results

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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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