King’s Stand Stakes Renamed as King Charles III Stakes at Royal Ascot

King Charles III Stakes introduced at Royal Ascot
King Charles III Stakes introduced at Royal Ascot

After more than 120 years, the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot has a new race title from 2024 in the King Charles III Stakes. This is to commemorate the 75th birthday of the reigning UK monarch and chief patron of Ascot Racecourse.

King Charles, alongside Queen Camilla and other members of the Royal family, attended the track’s premier meeting in 2023. That edition of Royal Ascot was the first since the passing of his mother, the late Queen Elizabeth II, who had a genuine passion for both the sport and thoroughbred breeding.

Originally run as the Queen’s Stand Plate in 1860 during the reign of Queen Victoria, the King’s Stand Stakes became the registered title for this 5f sprint in 1901. That was the year in which her son and another horse racing fanatic, King Edward VII, acceded to the throne. He has a race at the Royal meeting, previously the Ascot Derby, named after him too.

Awarded Group 1 status in 1973, the King Charles III Stakes suffered from a brief downgrading in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Victories for the likes of Indian Ridge, Dayjur and Pivotal helped restore the race’s profile. It is now one of three top level races held on the opening day of the five-day festival.

“We decided to celebrate the King’s reign with an appropriately high-profile Group 1 at Royal Ascot,” said the course’s director of racing Nick Smith. “It was fantastic to see Their Majesties at Royal Ascot all week last year and their win the the King George V Handicap was one of the highlights of the racing year.”

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Who Are the Leading Contenders for the King Charles III Stakes?

Unlike the other Group 1 sprint at the meeting, the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes, the King’s Stand Stakes is open to horses aged three and up. There are no intentions or desire from Ascot races to change the conditions of the race, just its name. Younger horses will still receive 6lb weight for age from their elders.

Last year’s winner of the King Charles III Stakes, Bradsell, could return to defend his crown. Back-to-back winners in modern times are rare, but both Sole Power and Blue Point managed it as older horses. Bradsell, who also won the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot as a juvenile, will be worse off at the weights with any who re-oppose from 2023.

Potentially among those are the third and fourth home, Annaf who went on to land the Group 3 Bengough Stakes at the track in the autumn and Twilight Calls. This race also has a history of attracting international runners from Europe, Australia and America, so traders on horse racing betting sites and punters alike must consider form lines from overseas.

The inaugural running of this race as the King Charles III Stakes takes place on Tuesday, 18 June. As he did so often as the Prince of Wales with the feature race on the Wednesday of Royal Ascot, the sovereign may award the prizes to the winning owner, trainer and jockey in this event that now honours him.

King Charles enjoyed a winner at the Royal meeting in the silks of the monarch in 2023 as Desert Hero landed the King George V Stakes Heritage Handicap. That horse went on to follow-up at Glorious Goodwood in the Group 3 Gordon Stakes and later placed in the St Leger at Doncaster.

A Brief History of Royal Ascot Renaming Races

  • 1901 – The Queen’s Stand Plate becomes the King’s Stand Stakes
  • 1919 – The Triennial Stakes series become the Chesham Stakes and Jersey Stakes
  • 1926 – The Ascot Derby becomes the King Edward VII Stakes
  • 1926 – The All Aged Stakes becomes the Cork And Orrey Stakes
  • 1930 – The Trial Stakes becomes the Queen Anne Stakes
  • 1973 – The New Stakes becomes the Norfolk Stakes
  • 1999 – The Bessborough Stakes becomes the Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes
  • 2001 – The Fern Hill Rated Stakes becomes the Sandringham Handicap
  • 2002 – The Cork And Orrey Stakes becomes the Golden Jubilee Stakes
  • 2003 – The Henry Carnavon Stakes becomes the Albany Stakes
  • 2011 – The Hampton Court Stakes becomes the Tercentenary Stakes
  • 2012 – The Golden Jubilee Stakes becomes the Diamond Jubilee Stakes
  • 2013 – The Windsor Forest Stakes becomes the Duke of Cambridge Stakes
  • 2017 – The Tercentenary Stakes becomes the Hampton Court Stakes again
  • 2022 – The Diamond Jubilee Stakes becomes the Platinum Jubilee Stakes
  • 2023 – The Platinum Jubilee Stakes becomes the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes
  • 2024 – The King’s Stand Stakes becomes the King Charles III Stakes 

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