Royal Ascot: Duke of Edinburgh Stakes

The Duke of Edinburgh Stakes is a flat handicap over 1 mile 3 furlongs and 211 yards open to horses of three-year-old and up. The race was previously known as the Bessborough Stakes and was named after John George Brabazon Ponsonby, 5th Earl of Bessborough, who was Master of the Buckhounds on three occasions between 1848 and 1858 under Lord John Russell, Lord Aberdeen and Lord Palmerston. The first race under the original name of the Bessborough Stakes, was a five-furlong race for two-year-olds run on Tuesday 16th June 1914. The title was later bestowed on a mile and a half handicap race at the same meeting. In 1999 the race was renamed in honour of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, although the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes had previously been used for a two-year-old race at Ascot, with Sea Pigeon a former winner who later landed the Champion Hurdle.
Early history:- The inaugural running of the Bessborough Stakes, a forerunner of the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes, was over 5 furlongs on Tuesday 16th June 1914 when Mr W Astor's Good and Gay (100/8) defeated Rossendale (10/1), Scotch Rose (100/6) and 13 others by a head and 2 lengths.

Bessborough Stakes 1939 Handicap 1 mile 4 furlongs
Pos. Horse Jockey Trainer Owner
1 ALISTAIR E Smith B Jarvis Mr W R Lysaght 100/8
2 SPOT BARRED P Maher Ireland Sir P Loraine 6/1
3 LONGRIGGAN A Richardson Boyd-Rochfort Major H Cayzer 100/8
4 GOLDEN MARTLET M Beary F S Butters Mrs H De Vere Clifton 100/9
5 TENOR II H Sprague C Langlands Mr Brandt 25/1
6 PRINCE NICOLET P Evans R J Colling Mrs C Rich 100/8
7 FLYING STAR W Nevett M Peacock Major L B Holliday 3/1 fav
8 LE CHICANEUR W Sibbritt Laye Mr R Cohen 100/7
9 MICKEY MOUSE J Gilbert P Beary Lord Portman 25/1
10 TARAN D Smith S Donoghue Mr G Roll 100/8
11 BOOKSELLER C Richards Lawson Lord Astor 7/1
12 REVOLTE J Sirett Gilpin Mr L Cecil 25/1
13 HIGH RANK G Littlewood P Allden Miss Cowley 100/8
14 BULTOI A Burns Persse Mr W Murray 100/7
15 HERU R Lacey Jack Jarvis Lord Milford 100/6
16 MANNLICHER T Bartlam Gilbert Mr F Cobb 100/6
17 IMPRESSION G Wells F Hartigan Mr F Hartigan 25/1
18 SEA TONIC James Doyle Collinson Mr Pirie 25/1
19 JOYCE W F Sharpe Lawson Sir V Sassoon 25/1
20 FIFTH AVENUE K Mullins F Pratt Mr J A De Rothschild 25/1
21 SAAF D Nicoll Gosden Mr A Berry 25/1
The Bessborough Stakes, forerunner of the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes, took place on Wednesday 14th June 1939 and the winner was a bay colt by Legatee out of Apple Blossom, won a first prize which had a first prize of £1530 (equivalent to £102,000 in 2020). Over round 158%
Duke of Edinburgh Stakes Handicap 1 mile 4 furlongs 1914
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1920 1921 1922 1923 1924 1925 1926 1927 1928 1929
1930 1931 1932 1933 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939