Golden Gates Stakes

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The Golden Gates Stakes was added to Royal Ascot in 2020 and is a handicap for three-year-olds over ten furlongs. It is currently staged as the penultimate race on the final day of the festival meeting in June.

The inaugural running was won by Highland Chief who went on to win the Grade 1 Man O’War Stakes at Belmont Park in 2024.

Find out more about the Golden Gates Stakes:

Golden Gates Stakes

Famous Golden Gates Stakes Winners

The Golden Gates stakes is limited to three-year-olds rated 0-105. The first running took place in very testing conditions in 2020. The 7-2 favourite was Global Storm, trained by Charlie Appleby and ridden by William Buick. He had won a Newmarket handicap by a short-head on his previous start and was fancied to defy a 5lbs rise in the weights.

The pace was set by Grand Rock but he began to fade in the final furlong. Highland Chief came wide and late to beat Tritonic and Global Storm by half a length and two and a quarter lengths. He was trained by Paul and Oliver Cole and ridden by Rossa Ryan.

The horse had not raced for 264 days prior to Royal Ascot and connections decided to let him take his chance in the Epsom Derby. The Classic was re-scheduled to early July during the pandemic but Highland Chief never featured, eventually finishing tenth behind runaway winner Serpentine.

He did show himself to be better than a handicapper in subsequent starts. He was a close second to Mogul in the Group 3 Gordon Stakes and runner-up to Pyledriver in the Group 2 Great Voltigeur Stakes. The son of Gleneagles finally made his Grade 1 breakthrough in the Man O’War Stakes at Belmont Park in May 2024 when trained by Graham Motion.

The second running in 2021 also took place in soft ground and the favourite was King Frankel, trained by Mark Johnston and ridden by Frankie Dettori. He had failed by a nose to win an Epsom handicap last time out.

Fantastic Fox set a fast pace in the colours of King Power Racing but he gave way inside the final quarter of a mile. Oisin Murphy had bided his time on Foxes Tales and made smooth headway in the same colours as the early leader, leaving over a furlong out. He beat outsiders Visualisation and Irish Legend with King Frankel staying on into fourth.

Foxes Tales had disappointed on his previous start in the Dee Stakes at Chester. The handicapper raised him 9lbs for a valuable handicap at Newmarket next time and he was only beaten a head. He has raced consistently in Group races since, claiming his biggest success in the Group 3 Rose Of Lancaster Stakes at Haydock Park.

Golden Gates Stakes 2023 Result

Key Golden Gates Stakes Trials

It is impossible to identify any likely trials for the Golden Gates Stakes based on just two runnings. However, the distance of the race makes it an attractive proposition for horses who contested the London Gold Cup at Newbury in May. King Frankel had finished second in that race behind Bay Bridge prior to starting favourite at Royal Ascot in 2021.

The race can also attract horses who have contested Classic trials. 2021 winner Foxes Tales had raced in the Dee Stakes at Chester but ran too freely. 2020 favourite Hypothetical had finished fourth in the Unibet Classic Trial at Kempton Park last time out.

The first two runnings of the Golden Gates Stakes suggest it may prove tricky for punters. Inaugural winner Highland Chief was a 20-1 chance after easing out from 16-1. Global Storm started favourite and ran well to finish third. Fourteen horses lined up after two late withdrawals on the day.

Foxes Tales returned at 13-2 in 2021 after being backed from 15-2. The second and third returned at 16-1 and 22-1 with favourite King Frankel finishing only fourth. The race once again attracted a large field of fourteen starters after three horses were taken out because of the soft ground.

Golden Gates Stakes – Top Trainers and Jockeys

The first winner Highland Chief was trained by Paul and Oliver Cole and ridden by Rossa Ryan. The 2021 winner was saddled by Andrew Balding and ridden by Oisin Murphy.

Betting on the Golden Gates Stakes

The Golden Gates Stakes looks certain to be a well-contested handicap year after year. The race attracts relatively inexperienced three-year-olds with the potential to move up in class later in the season. The form could well be worth following at up-coming summer festivals like Goodwood and Newmarket.

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