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 8 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 ever running again.
The French have an excellent recent record in the race, having sent over Byword (2010), Vision D’Etat (2008) and Manduro (2007), while jockey Joseph O’Brien celebrated a first Royal Ascot winner in 2012 as So You Think avenged his narrow defeat to Rewilding in the same race 12 months earlier.
Al Kazeem won in 2013, while The Fugue registered her third QIPCO British Champions Series victory in 2014.
Current leading jockeys: Frankie Dettori, 3 wins (2001, 2002, 2011)
Current leading trainer: Saeed bin Suroor, 4 wins (1998, 2000-2)