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 1949 Handicap 1 mile 4 furlongs
Pos. Horse Jockey Trainer Owner
1 HIGH BEACON W Cook Nightingall Colonel F T Halse 100/7
2 JAI MAHAL Ken Gethin H Wragg Mr F More-O'Ferrall 7/1
3 DEUCES WILD C Gibson A Richardson Mrs E Darrell 20/1
4 NATIVE HEATH M Beary V Smyth Sir M McAlpine 6/1 fav
5 ALDERSGATE D Greening J Leach Mr J T Coltman 15/2
6 GLENDOWER G Richards N Murless Mrs R Macdonald-Buchanan 9/1
7 YOUNG JUDGE E Britt Elsey Major W N-Hallas 10/1
8 CLOSWORTH W Johnstone Hartigan Mr R H A Gresson 10/1
9 BLUE MICKIE C Smirke Ingham Captain T E Thorpe 100/8
10 PELOTA T Lowrey Perryman Mrs J Rogerson 100/7
11 ALDERMAN W Nevett Carey Mr T H Carey 100/6
12 SPAHEE D L Jones H Peacock Mr A E McKinley 100/6
13 KOLPER C Elliott Swash Mr L J Milne 25/1
14 CRESTA CUP A P Taylor W Smyth Duke of Norfolk 25/1
15 PAPER WEIGHT W Rickaby Denistoun Captain P G A Harvey 33/1
16 ORVANDL C Richards Blackmore Mr J Ismay 33/1
17 CHWARAU TEG Bowles O Bell Mr D L Farmiloe 33/1
18 WHITEBEAM Packham Wightman Mr E B Bearing 33/1
19 KNIGHT OF THE ROSES Walker H Nicholson Mr L P Freedman 33/1
20 TOMSHA T Sidebotham C Birch Mr M L Marsh 33/1
21 GAY XANDOS A Carson A Boyd Mr G Gilroy 33/1
The Bessborough Stakes, forerunner of the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes, took place on Wednesday 15th June 1949 and the winner was a bay mare by Lighthouse out of Aristocracy, won a first prize which had a first prize of £1200 (equivalent to £44,000 in 2020). Over round 142%
Duke of Edinburgh Stakes Handicap 1 mile 4 furlongs 1914
        1914 1915 1916 1917 1918 1919
1920 1921 1922 1923 1924 1925 1926 1927 1928 1929
1930 1931 1932 1933 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939
1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949