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The Commonwealth Cup

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History

2015 saw the first ever running of the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot – and one of the brightest stars to don the QIPCO British Champions Series emerged from it.

Muhaarar, trained by Charlie Hills, eased clear of his rivals to demonstrate his ability with ease at the Royal meeting before going on to win the Darley July Cup and bowing out on QICO British Champions Day a sprinting hero.

The Group 1 contest was won by another star, Quiet Reflection, in 2017 and Caravaggio won a superb renewal in 2018 at the principal expense of Harry Angel.

Previous winners

Year Horse Jockey Trainer Owner Prize money

Entries

Going/Track

Weather

No/Draw Horse/Jockey Age Form/Type BHA Rating Weight Trainer Odds

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Eqtidaar is Commonwealth Cup cracker for Crowley

Eqtidaar raised his game when it counted to land the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot.

The Sir Michael Stoute-trained colt had won only one of his previous four starts but those closest to him were expecting a bold showing and the 12/1 chance delivered under an exultant Jim Crowley – beating Sands Of Mali (15/2) and Emblazoned (12/1) by half a length and a length.

It was the second time in the four-year history of the QIPCO British Champions Series race that Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum’s silks had been carried to victory. Eqtidaar has some way to go before emulating Muhaarar, who won the first running in 2015 and went on to be champion sprinter, but has stacks of potential.

“Eqtidaar was one of my best rides of the week and it’s great he could pull it off,” Crowley said. “He is trained by a master and just keeps on improving.

“Things didn’t pan out last time as we were on the wrong part of the track, whereas today we got a lovely tow into the race. It went like clockwork really.

“I knew his potential. He had been working unbelievably well, and you could make excuses for his last two starts. We knew coming here today that he would have a great chance.”

Paul Hanagan, rider of the fast-finishing runner-up Sands Of Mali, said: “They went a really nice place my side, which suited me, he was able to drop his head and he was relaxed and he came home.

“The ground might just have been a shade too quick for my lad, maybe he was just feeling it and not letting himself down completely, but to finish second, beaten just half a length in a Group One, he’s run a great race.”

Emblazoned’s trainer John Gosden said: “I am very pleased with that. It was not the plan to be so forward, but the horse took himself there. The form is rock solid.”

Results

Position Horse Jockey Trainer Owner
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The Course

British horseracing can lay claim to plenty of blue-blooded connections, but none rival those of Ascot. The Berkshire racecourse’s roots go back 300 years to Queen Anne, who recognised the potential of a stretch of heath land while out riding just a few miles from Windsor Castle.

The royal link has endured ever since. Today, Queen Elizabeth II and members of the Royal Family attend the world-famous ‘Royal Ascot’ meeting each year, arriving in a horse drawn carriage. Royal Ascot, meanwhile, has earned iconic status as a centrepiece of the social calendar, when the world’s best thoroughbreds face fierce competition from the world’s most extravagant fashion designs.

Ascot, which underwent a £200 million redevelopment between 2004-6, also hosts the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes sponsored by QIPCO in July, the most prestigious open-age Flat race staged in Britain.

It will also host the inaugural QIPCO British Champions Day in October which will be the richest raceday ever staged in Britain with over £4.2m in prize money and the climax to the QIPCO British Champions Series.  Including the five category finales on QIPCO British Champions Day, Ascot stages no less than 13 of the 35 QIPCO British Champions Series races.

What sort of horses like Ascot? Horses that like right-handed courses. And what sort of people? People who like champagne and scones, apparently. During the five-day Royal Ascot meeting in 2010, 60,000 bottles of champagne and 40,000 scones were consumed. Lobsters, meanwhile, don’t like Royal Ascot – 1,500 of them were eaten over that same period.

Getting there

Ascot
Berkshire
SL5 7JX

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