The Platinum Jubilee Stakes is one of Royal Ascot’s most popular events, and takes on extra importance this year. The six-furlong race has a long history, dating back to 1868. It was originally called the All-Aged Stakes. It was renamed the Cork and Orrery Stakes in 1926, to honour the 9th Earl of Cork.
In 2002, the race was again renamed. It became The Golden Jubilee Stakes, to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. In 2012, it became The Diamond Jubilee Stakes, and in 2022, 70 years into the Queen’s reign, it will be run as the Platinum Jubilee Stakes. On such a momentous occasion, we’ve run the rule over the field ahead of the race.
Home Affairs looks set to make the journey from Australia, and is likely to be the favorite for many. He’s a prized sprinter, capable of matching anyone on his day, but he’s also underwhelming at times, and much may depend on how well he travels.
Jockey James McDonald, who was working with the Chris Waller-trained pair of Home Affairs and Nature Strip, the latter riding in the King’s Stand Stakes, said of Waller’s horses, “I’m extremely excited. They’re arguably the world’s best sprinters and to be taking them up, showcasing them is going to be awesome. I couldn’t dream of being on two better horses in different races, that’s for sure.”
A stewards’ enquiry saw Campanella controversially awarded the Commonwealth Cup last year. He finished second to Dragon Symbol, before the result was overturned. While he struggled for form slightly after Ascot, he’s returned to winning ways this season, and is a strong contender for the race.
Creative Force is in good form, placing regularly, and is likely to be backed by many looking for horse betting during Royal Ascot. He won the British Champions Sprint Stakes at Ascot last October and, after a skittish start to Group 1 racing, he looks like Britain’s best chance of victory in the race.
Sacred will be an interesting choice for punters. She tends to run much better when fresh, and the consensus is that trainer William Hagag’s knows what he’s doing as he moves her up in distance for this race.
Diligent Harry is one to keep an eye on, but he’s far from a sure thing. At Newbury last summer, he gave Happy Romance a real challenge, but at other times he’s looked far from comfortable in top class racing, and backing him would certainly be a punt.
Alcohol Free is another horse who is difficult to back. She’s been racing over longer distances, and hasn’t looked comfortable. A drop to a shorter race could be just what she needs, but it’s difficult to predict a win here for a horse dropping into sprinting.
The likes of Romantic Proposal, Umm Kulthum, and Happy Romance are also worth considering, for racing fans looking for an underdog.
The prize money at Royal Ascot has increased this year by 14%, up by an additional £2 million. The Diamond Jubilee Stakes, along with the Prince of Wales’s Stakes, will be the first races run at Royal Ascot with a total prize fund of £1 million, while no race across the whole event will be run for less than £100,000. With the race increasing in value, the quality of the field has never been clearer.