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The Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup

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The Weatherbys Hamilton Insurance Lonsdale Cup, staged during the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival at York and the fourth long-distance event of the QIPCO British Champions Series, is clearly a race on the up.

It began as a relatively modest ‘listed race’ but was promoted to Group 3 status in 1998, then to its current classification of Group 2 in 2004. Today it is run over 2 miles and 88 yards (3,280 metres) and is open to three-year-olds and older horses.

Previous winners include Persian Punch, one of horseracing’s most popular stayers who was still racing aged 10, while Pat Eddery had a great record in the race, riding the winner on five victories. The last of those was on a horse called Celeric, one of three horses to win the race on two occasions (the horse was due to be named Celeriac but the name was mis-spelt on the registration papers).

The 2010 race was won by Frankie Dettori on Opinion Poll and the pair returned 12 months later for another success on the Knavesmire. Times Up, Ahzeemah, Pale Mimosa and Max Dynamite have won the the last four runnings.

Current leading jockey: Frankie Dettori, 4 wins (2006, 2010, 2011, 2015)
Current leading trainer: Mark Johnston, 3 wins (1995, 1997, 2000)

Previous winners

Year Horse Jockey Trainer Owner Prize money




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


Montaly edges home in thriller

Montaly pipped Dartmouth by a nose in a thrilling finish to the Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup Stakes at York.

Andrew Balding’s charge, winner of the Chester Cup in May, scooped the spoils at 16-1 under an elated PJ McDonald in the two-mile contest.

Balding was absent, as he was en route to Goodwood. The trainer, able to savour another QIPCO British Champions Series success after the win of Here Comes When in the Qatar Sussex Stakes, had also been at an away track for Montaly’s Chester Cup success.

High Jinx set out to make it a real test, but he was tackled two furlongs from home by smooth-travelling Thomas Hobson, although there were plenty sitting in behind waiting to challenge.

The Queen’s Dartmouth soon made his bid for glory on his first attempt at the trip under Ryan Moore, while St Michel could be noted moving with menace from the rear. However, it was Montaly who produced a telling burst latest of all nearest the stands to claim the prize by just a nose in a photo.

St Michel was a further half a length back in third.

McDonald said: “I was just getting carried off away (right) in the last 100 yards, but I just put my head down. He was really tough, though. It’s great to be getting opportunities like this.”


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The Course

The city of York and its racecourse have a long and colourful history, involving – among others - the Vikings, the Romans, Pope John Paul II, highwayman Dick Turpin, and the Princess Royal.

There’s no official record of the Vikings racing horses at York – they apparently preferred sacking and pillaging – but the Romans certainly did, during the reign of Emperor Severus 2,000 years ago. Severus, indeed, breathed his final breath in ‘Eboracum’ – that’s Roman for York. So did Turpin. He was hanged at the Knavesmire racecourse site in 1739. Pope John Paul II enjoyed a friendlier reception, lauded by 200,000 pilgrims at an open-air mass in 1982, while Princess Anne also enjoyed huge support when winning the Queen Mother’s Cup on Insular in 1988.

The North Yorkshire track, voted Racecourse of the Year in 2003, continues to attract the crowds today, with around 350,000 flocking through the gates each year. York comes into its own during the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival in August, the meeting boasting such races as the Juddmonte International Stakes, part of the QIPCO British Champions Series, and the totesport Ebor Handicap. Lester Piggott won the Ebor Handicap a record five times – the first in 1958 and the last 25 years later, in 1983.

Getting there

Tadcaster Rd York,
YO23 1EX

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