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 1954 Handicap 1 mile 4 furlongs
Pos. Horse Jockey Trainer Owner
1 HENRI DE NAVARRE E Britt Beasley Mr F L C Plummer 20/1
2 GALA PERFORMANCE W Swinburn G Todd Mr H E Lester 9/1
3 HILARION R Arnold Bill Wightman Mrs J M Stephenson 25/1
4 YORKTOWN W Johnstone A Taylor Mr M M Whittles 8/1 fav
5 LEPIDOPTIC W Snaith Lawson Mr J H Hawes 100/7
6 BABYLONIAN L Piggott T R Rimell Mr G H Dowty 9/1
7 LEGS ELEVEN E Mercer H Jelliss Mr T H Parr 100/7
8 BEDDINGTON E Smith Perryman Mr S Joel 100/9
9 EMPIRE HONEY W Rickaby J Jarvis Lord Milford 100/7
10 SCOTS PINE R Fawdon H Leader Major J B Walker 25/1
11 MERRY MINSTREL W Nevett R Jarvis Mr E W Simms 25/1
12 OCEAN SAILING G Richards Jerdein Mrs O Rasbotham 100/7
13 RASS CASTLE J Sime P Vasey Mr M McKeown 100/8
14 PETER SO GAY Geoff Lewis Griffiths Mr Charles Rodwell 20/1
15 GRANI S Clayton J C Waugh Mrs C C Vandervell 25/1
16 CALCIUM D Smith Winter Mr P Bartholomew 100/6
17 CANNON GAME J Wilson Nightingall Colonel F T Halse 25/1
18 WELLINGTON CASTLE T Mahon J C Waugh Mr F W Dennis 25/1
19 TORCH SINGER J Egan Bill Wightman Mrs J M Stephenson 25/1
The Bessborough Stakes, forerunner of the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes, took place on Wednesday 16th June 1954 and the winner was a chestnut horse by Orthodox out of Henriette Maria, won a first prize which had a first prize of £1633 (equivalent to £46,000 in 2020). Over round 120%
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
1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949
1950 1951 1952 1953 1954