Established in 1875 and originally financed by Thomas Gee of the Dewhurst Stud in Wadhurst, East Sussex, the Dewhurst Stakes is a Group One race run over a straight 7 furlongs on the Rowley Mile Course at Newmarket. The race is open to two-year-old colts and fillies, but not geldings and, since 2015, has been staged on the second day of the Future Champions Festival in October. Indeed, with total prize money of £533,750 in 2019, the Dewhurst Stakes is the most prestigious juvenile race of the season. Almost invariably, the result of the Dewhurst Stakes has a marked effect on the ante-post for the Classics; the roll of honour includes such luminaries as Nijinsky, Mill Reef and, of course, Frankel, to name but three of the illustrious winners down the years.
Too Darn Hot, winner of the Dewhurst Stakes in 2018, went into winter quarters as favourite for the 2,000 Guineas, but missed the race after developing a leg problem. He was beaten of the first three starts of his three-year-old campaign, but won two Group One races – the Prix Jean Prat at Deauville and the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood – before being retired from racing after sustaining a further injury. The 2019 winner, Pinatubo, remains unbeaten in six starts as a juvenile and, officially rated 2lb higher than Frankel at the same stage of his career, is favourite, at just 5/4, for the 2,000 Guineas.
Legendary jockey Lester Piggott won the Dewhurst Stakes ten times between 1956 and 1982, including on three subsequent Derby winners – Crepello in 1956, Nijinsky in 1969 and The Minstrel in 1976 – and is the leading rider in the history of the race. John Porter, the most successful trainer of the Victorian era, won the Dewhurst Stakes eight times between 1884 and 1898 including with Ormonde, who subsequently won the Triple Crown and retired undefeated after 16 races. In the first half the twentieth century, Austrian-born Frank Butters also saddled eight winners of the Dewhurst Stakes, including Toboggan, who subsequently won the Oaks; he and Porter are, jointly, the most successful trainers in the history of the race.