Sun Chariot Stakes

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The Group 1 Sun Chariot Stakes is one of the most important all-aged races of the season for fillies and mares.

The one mile race often attracts the top Classic fillies from the 1000 Guineas in Great Britain and Ireland who clash with the best milers of earlier generations.

Sahpresa (2009, 2010, 2011) pulled off a unique hat-trick in the race while other star performers to win here include Time Charter (1982), Indian Skimmer (1988) and Attraction (2004).

Sun Chariot Stakes

The Race

The Sun Chariot Stakes takes place over a mile at Newmarket in early October.

It was run over ten furlongs until 2000 and used to attract fillies dropping back in trip from the Epsom Oaks.

It is now clearly aimed at the Guineas’ horses. It is a long season for fillies who ran in the first Classic and the form can often be turned around in the Autumn.

Famous Sun Chariot Stakes Winners & History

The Sun Chariot Stakes is named after the fillies’ Triple Crown winner of 1942. She won the 1000 Guineas, the Oaks and the St Leger in a year when all three events were held at Newmarket because of the War.

The inaugural Sun Chariot Stakes took place in 1966 and was confined to three-year-old fillies over ten furlongs. It was classed as a Group 2 in 1971 and opened up to older fillies and mares in 1974. The distance was cut to a mile in 2000 and the race given Group 1 status four years’ later.

The first four-year-old to win the race was Free Guest who won it in 1984 and 1985 for Luca Cumani. Indian Skimmer was the next older horse to win it in 1988, trained by Sir Henry Cecil and ridden by Michael Roberts. She defeated the colts in the Champion Stakes and the Irish Champion Stakes.

The reduction in the trip in 2000 changed the nature of the race and dual 1000 Guineas winner Attraction won it in 2004. Her victory capped a magnificent season which also featured a win in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot. She was bred in Scotland by her owner, the Duke of Roxburghe, and trained by Mark Johnston.

Sahpresa made this race her own between 2009 and 2011. She was trained in France by Rod Collet and reserved her best form for the Autumn. She also ran well in Asia, finishing third in the Hong Kong Mile and the Mile Championship. Other high class winners of the Sun Chariot Stakes in recent years include Sky Lantern (2013), Laurens (2018) and Billesdon Brook (2019).

Key Sun Chariot Stakes Trials

Three of the last twelve Sun Chariot Stakes winners ran in the Matron Stakes at Leopardstown on their previous outing. Alice Springs (2016) and Laurens (2018) won both races, although Chachamaidee (2012), La Collina (2013), Iridessa (2019) and No Speak Alexander (2021) were all defeated at Newmarket.

This is also the target for winners of the Atalanta Stakes at Sandown. Saffron Beach (2021) ended a sequence of six consecutive Atalanta winners being beaten in the Sun Chariot.

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Sun Chariot Stakes Previous Winners

2013Sky Lantern3Richard HughesRichard Hannon Sr.
2014Integral4Ryan MooreSir Michael Stoute
2015Esoterique5Pierre-Charles BoudotAndré Fabre
2016Alice Springs3Ryan MooreAidan O’Brien
2017Roly Poly3Ryan MooreAidan O’Brien
2018Laurens3Daniel TudhopeKarl Burke
2019Billesdon Brook4Sean LeveyRichard Hannon Jr.
2020Nazeef4Jim CrowleyJohn Gosden
2021Saffron Beach3William BuickJane Chapple-Hyam
2022Fonteyn3Neil CallanKevin Ryan
2023Inspiral4Frankie DettoriJohn & Thady Gosden

Sun Chariot Stakes Previous Result

Check out this result from Newmarket Racecourse:

There have been six winning favourites in the past twelve renewals including Integral (joint-favourite in 2014). The shortest priced winner during that period was Esoterique (2015) at 11-8 while Sahpresa (2011) and Alice Springs (2016) both returned at 13-8 and Sky Lantern (2013) 7-4. Laurens (2018) was the other winning favourite at 11-4.

The longest priced winner in recent years was Billesdon Brook (2019) at 16-1. Richard Hannon’s mare had a habit of turning up when least expected, notably when taking the 1000 Guineas at an all-time record price of 66-1 in 2018.

Sun Chariot Stakes Stats

In recent years, the winners have been fairly evenly split between three-year-olds and older age groups. Five three-year-olds have won the Sun Chariot in the past twelve years, including four of the last six. Sahpresa completed her hat-trick in 2011 at the age of six while Esoterique (2015) won as a five-year-old.

Eleven of the twelve previous winners had at least one victory in a Group 1 to 3 race prior to winning the Sun Chariot Stakes. An official rating of 114 or higher is usually required to win this, although BIllesdon Brook (2019) and Saffron Beach (2021) were rated 106 and 109 respectively, despite their Classic form.

Top Trainers and Jockeys

Luca Cumani remains the leading trainer in the history of the Sun Chariot Stakes with six winners; Free Guest (1984, 1985), Infamy (1987), Red Slippers (1992), One So Wonderful (1997) and Kissogram (1998). Sir Michael Stoute has won it four times; Triple First (1977), Kartajana (1990), Peeress (2005) and Integral (2014). Aidan O’Brien has three victories with Halfway To Heaven (2008), Alice Springs (2016) and Roly Poly (2017).

Lester Piggott is the leading jockey with six Sun Chariot winners, the last of them coming with Home on the Range (1981). Ryan Moore won the race three times in four seasons with Integral (2014), Alice Springs (2016) and Roly Poly (2017). Frankie Dettori’s solitary victory came in 1992 aboard Red Slippers.

Betting on the Sun Chariot Stakes

There is a good ante-post market on the Sun Chariot Stakes, usually centred around the 1000 Guineas form. Several recent winners ran in either the English or Irish Guineas but it is not necessarily the same outcome at this Autumn fixture. The race provided handsome consolation for Laurens (2018) and Saffron Beach (2021), both runners-up in the season’s first Classic. Sky Lantern (2013) was the last Newmarket 1000 Guineas winner to win the Sun Chariot in the same season.

There aren’t many options left for Group 1 fillies and mares over a mile before the end of the season after the Sun Chariot. Most have ended up going abroad for their next race but only Siyouma (2012) was successful, winning the E P Taylor Stakes at Woodbine. Three have taken on the colts in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes and four have travelled to the Breeders’ Cup but all were beaten.

Popular Questions

Where is the Sun Chariot Stakes Run?

The Sun Chariot Stakes is run at Newmarket.

What distance is the Sun Chariot Stakes?

The Sun Chariot Stakes is 1 mile long.

Summary of the Sun Chariot Stakes

The Sun Chariot Stakes is the Autumn Championship race for fillies and mares over a mile and features a fascinating clash of the generations.

Some are feeling the effects of a long season and it takes a classy filly to win this race.