The King’s Stand Stakes is one of the major highlights of Royal Ascot and brings together the fastest sprinters from around the world.

This five-furlong contest has truly attracted international support in the past couple of decades and currently takes place on the opening Tuesday of the Royal Meeting.

The race has a long history but was formed through chance, when inclement weather at Royal Ascot in 1860, saw the two mile Royal Stand Plate replaced by a five furlong contest on the only part of the course that was not waterlogged.

The amended version was called the Queen’s Stand Plate, and it subsequently became the most important sprint at the Royal meeting.

For a period it was open to horses aged two or older. It was renamed the King’s Stand Stakes following the death of Queen Victoria and the accession of King Edward VII in 1901. [1]

The race gained Group One status in 1973, but lost this in 1988.

However, the race became part of a new international race series, the Global Sprint Challenge, in 2005 and in 2008 regained Group One standing.

No fewer than eleven horses have won the King’s Stand Stakes twice: Woolsthorpe – 1895, 1897; Kilcock – 1898, 1899; Sundridge – 1903, 1904; Foresight – 1908, 1909; Hornet’s Beauty – 1911, 1913; Diadem – 1919, 1920; Golden Boss – 1923, 1924; Gold Bridge – 1933, 1934; Elbio – 1991, 1993; Equiano – 2008, 2010 and Sole Power – 2013, 2014.

The legendary Lester Piggott is the most successful jockey in the history of the race, with seven triumphs: Right Boy (1957), Majority Rule (1963), Swing Easy (1971), Abergwaun (1973), Godswalk (1977), Solinus (1978), Never So Bold (1985)

Dr Vincent O’Brien is the most successful trainer, with five victories: Cassarate (1962), Abergwaun (1973), Godswalk (1977), Solinus (1978), Bluebird (1987)

Habibti seen winning the 1983 July Cup at Newmarket
Image by www.cranhamphoto.com

The race has always been associated with the highest quality and over the past forty years has seen the likes of Marwell and Habibti switch from non-staying Classic runners, to Champion Sprinters.

In 1985, Never So Bold famously won the race. The Robert Armstrong sprinter would often finish his races lame, but in racing was imperious.

The 1986 winner Last Tycoon, went on to win the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Santa Anita.

Indian Ridge was successful in 1989 and went on to prove a significant stallion.

Then in 1990, Dayjur put up the first of an amazing string of victories, beating the French colt Ron’s Victory, before adding the Nunthorpe Stakes, Haydock Sprint Cup and Prix de l’Abbaye in a brilliant career.

Elbio won the race in 1991 and 1993, with Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Sheikh Albadou winning in between.

Lochsong in retirement

The imperious Lochsong added her name in 1994, while there was Group One success for Sir Mark Prescott in 1996, when influential stallion Pivotal won.

The international flavour increased from the turn of the Century and in 2003, the imposing Australian horse Choisir, won the King’s Stand Stakes and the Golden Jubilee Stakes at the Royal Meeting.

A year later, the ever-popular The Tatling gained a Group One victory.

Further Australian winners followed with Takeover Target (2006), Miss Andretti (2007) and Scenic Blast (2009).

In between, the ex-Spanish trained Equiano, now with Barry Hills, won the race in 2008 and 2010.

Little Bridge won for Hong Kong in 2012, before the Irish-trained Sole Power won back to back renewals in 2013 and 2014.

Goldream inches out Medicean Man and Muthmir in the King’s Stand Stakes
Image by www.healyracing.ie

Trainer Robert Cowell enjoyed victories with Prohibit (2011) and Goldream (2015).

Lady Aurelia storms home in the King’s Stand Stakes with another stellar performance Image by www.healyracing.ie

In 2017 Lady Aurelia returned to the scene of her Queen Mary Stakes victory a year earlier, to give American trainer Wes Ward a brilliant success.

Blue Point delivered a first victory in the race for Godolphin, in 2018.

King’s Stand Stakes Winners

1860: Queen of the Vale

1861: Buckstone

1862: Shillelagh

1863: Umpire

1864: Le Bearnais

1865: Saccharometer

1866: Hippia

1867: Cecrops

1868: Xi

1869: Gertrude

1870: King of the Forest

1871: Chopette

1872: Bertram

1873: Prince Charlie

1874: Blenheim

1875: Tangible

1876: Lowlander

1877: Springfield

1878: Lollypop

1879: Hackthorpe

1880: Charibert

1881: Ishmael

1882: Eastern Empress

1883: Prince William

1884: Geheimniss

1885: Glen Albyn

1886: Financier

1887: Crowberry

1888: Noble Chieftain

1889: Formidable

1890: Bumptious

1891: Lady Caroline

1892: Lady Lena

1893: Prince Hampton

1894: Best Man

1895: Woolsthorpe

1896: Wishard

1897: Woolsthorpe

1898: Kilcock

1899: Kilcock

1900: Eager

1901: Elizabeth M

1902: Zanoni

1903: Sundridge

1904: Sundridge

1905: Delaunay

1906: Thrush

1907: Camp Fire II

1908: Foresight

1909: Foresight

1910: Spanish Prince

1911: Hornet’s Beauty

1912: Great Surprise

1913: Hornet’s Beauty

1914: Adular

1915–18: no race

1919: Diadem

1920: Diadem

1921: Tetratema

1922: King Sol

1923: Golden Boss

1924: Golden Boss

1925: Diomedes

1926: Highborn II

1927: Nice Prospect

1928: Chichester Cross

1929: Tag End

1930: Oak Ridge

1931: Stingo

1932: Lemnarchus

1933: Gold Bridge

1934: Gold Bridge

1935: Shalfleet

1936: Sweet Polly

1937: Ticca Gari

1938: Foray

1939: Mickey the Greek

1940–45: no race

1946: Vilmorin

1947: Greek Justice

1948: Squander Bug

1949: Abernant

1950: Tangle

1951: Stephen Paul

1952: Easter Bride

1953: Fairy Flax

1954: Golden Lion

1955: Pappa Fourway

1956: Palariva

1957: Right Boy

1958: Drum Beat

1959: Chris

1960: Sound Track

1961: Silver Tor

1962: Cassarate

1963: Majority Rule

1964: no race

1965: Goldhill

1966: Roughlyn

1967: Be Friendly

1968: D’Urberville

1969: Song

1970: Amber Rama

1971: Swing Easy

1972: Sweet Revenge

1973 Abergwaun

1974 Bay Express

1975 Flirting Around

1976 Lochnager

1977 Godswalk

1978 Solinus

1979 Double Form

1980 African Song

1981 Marwell

1982 Fearless Lad

1983 Sayf El Arab

1984 Habibti

1985 Never So Bold

1986 Last Tycoon

1987 Bluebird

1988 Chilibang

1989 Indian Ridge

1990 Dayjur

1991 Elbio

1992 Sheikh Albadou

1993 Elbio

1994 Lochsong

1995 Piccolo

1996 Pivotal

1997 Don’t Worry Me

1998 Bolshoi

1999 Mitcham

2000 Nuclear Debate

2001 Cassandra Go

2002 Dominica

2003 Choisir

2004 The Tatling

2005 Chineur

2006 Takeover Target

2007 Miss Andretti

2008 Equiano

2009 Scenic Blast

2010 Equiano

2011 Prohibit

2012 Little Bridge

2013 Sole Power

2014 Sole Power

2015 Goldream

2016 Profitable

2017 Lady Aurelia

2018 Blue Point