With Epsom’s Derby Festival all over for another year, attention turns to horse racing’s most prestigious meeting: Royal Ascot. With the highlight race being staged on day three, in the Gold Cup, it marks the opening leg of the Stayers’ Triple Crown – which are among the most important races in the flat racing season. The Gold Cup precedes the Goodwood Cup and the Doncaster Cup. If you’re looking at the latest horse racing betting tips, read on, as this article will give you all you need to know about the famous Stayers’ Triple Crown.
Gold Cup (Ascot)
The Gold Cup is the most prestigious race for stayers, and was inaugurated in 1807, when it was run in front of King George III and Queen Charlotte. Royal Ascot has since been synonymous with the royal family.
Open to horses aged four years and older, the Gold Cup – which is a Group 1 race – is ran over a distance of two miles, three furlongs and 210 yards. It takes place every year in June, on the third day of Royal Ascot, which is also colloquially known as ‘Ladies Day’.
Yeats is the most successful horse in Gold Cup history, winning the race four years consecutively between 2006 and 2009. Stradivarius will look to emulate the feat this year, having won the last three editions – and is the favourite going into 2021’s race. Last year’s purse stood at £250,000.
Goodwood Cup (Goodwood)
The second leg of the Triple Crown is the Goodwood Cup, held during Goodwood’s Glorious Festival, which usually takes place in late July or early August. This year’s meeting will be July 27th-31st – and the Goodwood Cup is raced on the opening day of the Festival.
Open to horses aged three years and older, it wasn’t always a Group 1 race – and was given the highest classification in 2017. The Goodwood Cup is ran over a distance of two miles.
The most successful horse is Stradivarius, who has won the last four editions of the Goodwood Cup – also landing jockey Frankie Dettori amongst the most successful in the race. Dettori is tied alongside five other jockeys – notably Lester Piggott – with five victories.
Doncaster Cup (Doncaster)
Doncaster Racecourse lays claim to the St Leger Festival every September, for which, the Doncaster Cup is the feature race on the third day of the meeting. The Doncaster Cup also acts as the final leg of the Stayers’ Triple Crown.
The Doncaster Cup is Doncaster Racecourse’s longest standing event, although it was originally known as the Doncaster Gold Cup – and was inaugurated in 1766, 10 years before the St Leger.
It is a Group 2 race, and was promoted from its Group 3 status in 2003. Ran over a distance of two miles, one furlong and 197 yards, it is open to horses aged three-years and up. It is the only British race where the winner has ballot-exempt entry to the Melbourne Cup – Australia’s most famous thoroughbred race.
Last year’s winner was the Andrew Balding-trained Spanish Mission, while you have to go back to the mid-1800s to find the most successful horse. Beeswing won four times between 1837 and 1842. In more recent history, Double Trigger was a three-time winner.
Triple Crown winners
- 1879: Isonomy
- 1949: Alycidon
- 1953: Souepi
- 1979 and 1980: Le Moss
- 1986: Longboat
- 1995: Double Trigger
- 2019: Stradivarius