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The Doncaster Cup

3.00pm Doncaster

  • Distance 2m 2f
  • Class 1
  • Group 2
  • Prize money £100,000


The Doncaster Cup is a Group 2 race for three-year-olds and older horses and run over 2 miles and 2 furlongs (3,600 metres), making it a key race in the QIPCO British Champions Series Long Distance category. Established in 1766, it is Doncaster’s oldest surviving race, pre-dating the St Leger by 10 years. Along with the Gold Cup at Ascot and the Qatar Goodwood Cup – both feature in the QIPCO British Champions Series – it forms part of the Stayers’ Triple Crown.

It has its fair share of great racing stories to tell as well. Like the one about Beeswing, the legendary mare who won the race a record four times between 1837-42 and who was so popular that the Scottish village of Lochend changed its name to Beeswing in the horse’s honour. And what about the tale – or rather, tail – of Double Trigger, who won three times in the 1990s. The seven-year-old stallion seemed to be past his best when he enjoyed an Indian summer in his final season to win the cup for a final time in 1998.

Racing followers are always trying to uncover the secret of a horse’s success but this one sounds as bizarre as they come. One of Double Trigger’s owners attributed the horse’s revival in part to the decision to stop plaiting the horse’s tail, which he believed made him more relaxed.

More recently, Times Up won it twice in 2012 and 2013, first for trainer John Dunlop and then for his son, Ed, following John’s retirement at the end of the 2012 season.

Current leading jockey: Ryan Moore 4 wins (2009, 2013, 2014, 2018)
Current leading trainer: Mark Johnston, 3 wins (1995, 1996, 1998)

Previous winners

Year Horse Jockey Trainer Owner Prize money




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


Stradivarius saunters to Doncaster Cup glory

It was the simplest of wins for a modern day great on Town Moor, as John Gosden’s star stayer made light of the Doncaster Cup field.

Stradivarius backed up his hard-fought victory at York, although today he barely had to break into 4th gear.

He began the day a heavy-favourite, with Trueshan his arch rival in the staying division declared a non-runner with the rain coming too late for him to take his chance. The short odds were justified as he turned the Group 2 into a procession.

The Grand Visir took them round at a medium gallop, with Frankie Dettori happy to sit in fourth off the lead for much of the first circuit. The field content to maintain their positions for much of the way round turning into the straight.

With the leader beginning to tire, all eyes were on Frankie and Stradivarius, the former motionless as he bided his time. Jamie Spencer loomed to his right, looking to cover any potential move. Still Dettori waited.

As they came to three furlongs out, there was a casual look around from the pilot for dangers, before he engaged his mount slightly. Stradivarius then sauntered to the lead and when Frankie said go, the response was instant.

Stradivarius engaged his trademark turn of foot and in a matter of strides the race was won. He glided across the Doncaster turf to the joy of the crowd. All was left to take care of was Dettori’s customary flying dismount and more cheers ensued. The simplest of wins.


Position Horse Jockey Trainer Owner
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The Course

Doncaster’s local authorities tried to ban horseracing a few years ago – well, 400 years ago, to be exact – because of the hordes of ruffians that the races attracted.

  • Course plan
  • Course Intro

Eventually, they gave up, marking out a racecourse instead. The result? One of the country’s biggest horseracing centres and the home of two of the world’s oldest races, the Doncaster Cup and the Ladbrokes St Leger. Both feature in the QIPCO British Champions Series

The south Yorkshire venue, also known as Town Moor, is a left-handed, pear-shaped track, with courses for both Flat and Jump racing. A £34 million facelift, concluding in 2007, transformed it into one of the most modern in Europe. As for Doncaster’s ruffians, they’ve moved on, replaced by real horse connoisseurs. When the venue staged Britain’s first Sunday race meeting in 1992, 23,000 people turned up… even though betting was not allowed on the Sabbath.

Find out about racing at Doncaster

Getting there

Doncaster Racecourse,
The Grandstand,
Leger Way,

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