The Craven Stakes was first run in 1771 and was named after Jockey Club member William Craven, the 6th Baron Craven. At the beginning, the race was a weight for age race and the officially recorded distance in 1771 was 1m 2f 44 yards.
The race distance changed to one mile in 1869 and in 1878 it became a race only for three year olds. It became a Group 3 race in 1971.
Many of the race’s notable winners have gone on to win other major international races.
Dancing Brave is widely regarded as the best horse to win the Craven. The Khalid Abdullah owned colt later went on to win the 2000 Guineas, the Eclipse Stakes, the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and the Prix de L’arc de Triomphe.
The Craven Stakes is a key early season race ahead of the 2000 Guineas.
This article was written for the National Horse Racing Museum