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The MansionBet Yorkshire Cup

3.00pm York

  • Distance 1m 6f
  • Class 1
  • Group 2
  • Prize money £260,000
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The Betway Yorkshire Cup, which opens the British Champions Series Long Distance division, is run over 1 mile 6 furlongs (2,800 metres) at York and open to four-year-olds or older. What does it take to win this Group 2 race? The late Sir Henry Cecil knew better than most. He trained the 2010 winner Manifest, 23 years after his previous success. Cecil also trained top-class stayer Ardross, the only horse to win the race twice, in 1981 and 1982.

Lester Piggott was on board on both occasions, giving him his seventh and eighth Yorkshire Cup success. The race, established in 1927 and run in mid-May, was originally contested over two miles.

Current leading jockey: Frankie Dettori, 4 wins (1991, 2000-1, 2003)
Current leading trainer: Saeed bin Suroor, 5 wins (1995-6, 2000-1, 2003); Sir Michael Stoute, 5 wins (1992, 2009, 2014-15, 2017)

Previous winners

Year Horse Jockey Trainer Owner Prize money




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



Stradivarius strikes right note to take Yorkshire Cup

Stradivarius justified odds-on favouritism in impressive style in the Mansionbet Yorkshire Cup.

The John Gosden-trained four-year-old was sent off the 4-6 favourite and Frankie Dettori’s mount treated his rivals with contempt down the long home straight on the Knavesmire to scure his second QIPCO British Champions prize, having landed the Qatar Goodwood Cup last summer.

Dettori allowed himself a look between his legs over a furlong out and when he asked him to go and win his race, Desert Skyline and Call To Mind had no response.

“He’s a star – it’s very rare you get a stayer with a turn of foot, but that is what he has got. It’s a deadly combination,” said Dettori. “It is a great weapon to have over this distance and he’s a force to be reckoned with now.”

Third in the St Leger and only a length behind Order Of St George at Ascot on Champions day, Stradivarius is set to renew rivalry with Aidan O’Brien’s ace in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot in June.

Dettori added: “He is the young pretender in the Gold Cup, with fresh legs, and he’s on the way up.”

Gosden said: “That was a proper test first time back and I haven’t been working him like that, I can assure you. He’d only done bridle work so I couldn’t be more happy.”

Looking to Ascot, he added: “I promise you I can’t practice over two and a half miles (Gold Cup trip) at home, so the answer to if he will stay we’ll find out when they turn for home.

“We’ll go for the Gold Cup, but it’s uncharted territory. He switches off and the freshness is out of him, so if you relax and switch off you’ve got a chance.”

The victory also qualifies Stradivarius to challenge for the Weatherbys Hamilton Stayers Million, a bonus he would land if he could claim the Gold Cup, Goodwood Cup and the Lonsdale Cup.

Gosden said: “It’s good, isn’t it – we’ve now got the big hurdle (Gold Cup), that was the little hurdle!”

David Elsworth said of runner-up Desert Skyline: “He’s a tough individual, but he wants to go faster and further. We’ll leave him until the Gold Cup now, and he should have a good chance.”


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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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