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The Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup

George Baker
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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


Baker delivers on Quest For More

George Baker excelled as Quest For More made all in the Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup at York.

Baker dictated affairs from the off on Roger Charlton’s six-year-old in the QIPCO British Champions Series contest, and his mount stuck on in determined style when challenged and pulled away again to win by three and a half lengths from the admirable Pallasator.

Wicklow Brave was third after looking threatening, with former Gold Cup winner Trip To Paris fourth.
Baker said: “Pulling up was harder than the race itself. I think a change of tactics helped, I was a bit too negative on him at Goodwood.

“We had a chat and thought we’d roll along and keep it simple. I thought if he turned up on the day he had a massive chance. He’s a very willing partner and really relaxed in front.”

Charlton said: “It’s so nice having those old stayers. He improved a lot last year and this year we were hovering a little bit and weren’t quite up to our form.

“Nothing went right for him. We wanted to run him in the Ascot Gold Cup and it was too soft. It started raining today and I thought our chances were diminishing

“I thought George gave him a superb ride and it looked as though he could go round again.
“I thought it would suit him in front. Every time he runs over a mile and six his jockeys say his best furlong was the one past the line.

“He takes a bit of time to get going. It was like that in the Melbourne Cup. I think he’s a genuine stayer.”

Appearing to rule out a tilt at this year’s Melbourne showpiece, Charlton added: “I like to see the horses and be with them a lot and that’s very difficult when they’re on the other side of the world.

“He’s a fragile horse and needs looking after and I think I’d rather look after him here in England.

“The ground dictates where he goes. Maybe the stayers’ race in Dubai might be nice for him.”

Sir Mark Prescott was again delighted with Pallasator, who has hardly run a bad race this season.
He said: “It was a tremendous run, but the winner is back to his best. The first two kept going all the way, so I’m very happy.

“I had intended to go straight to Doncaster (Doncaster Cup), but this looked winnable.”
Trip To Paris was having the second start of his delayed comeback following his run in the Japan Cup back in November.

Trainer Ed Dunlop said: “I’d say it was a satisfactory run, without being startling.

“He’s getting back to where he was. He needs racing and I only wish there were more races like this. As for plans, we’ll get him back home and think about it.”


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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.

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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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