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The Qatar Goodwood Cup

3.00pm Goodwood

  • Distance 2m
  • Class 1
  • Group 1
  • Prize money £500,000


If you prefer the blood, guts and tactical nuances of long-distance racing over the explosiveness of sprinting, then the Qatar Goodwood Cup will be your sort of race. The third leg of the QIPCO British Champions Series long-distance category, the Qatar Goodwood Cup is a two mile (3,200 metres), 200-year-old arm-wrestle.

The Group 1 race (elevated to that status in 2017), first staged in 1808, boasts a series of big-name winners from Ardross to the big-hearted Persian Punch – a horse so popular that he had his own fan club and website – and Yeats, who not only won an unprecedented four Ascot Gold Cups in a row but was also voted Europe’s Champion Stayer in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009.

Big Orange won in 2015 and 2016, and beat all bar Stradivarius when bidding for a famous treble a year later.

Which Goodwood Cup winner, though, was the greatest of them all? Answer – Kincsem, way back in 1878. A Hungarian filly, she was never beaten in a 54-race career, making her the most successful thoroughbred ever. There is a museum and life-size statue dedicated to Kincsem in Budapest. Her name, incidentally, translates as ‘Precious’.

Recent year’s have seen a domination of this race my one horse previously mentioned, Stradivarius. Since breaking Big Orange’s run in the race, the loveable chestnut has gone on to scure four successive wins in the race – a feat never achieved before making him the mos successful horse tha rec has ever seen.

Current leading jockeys: Frankie Dettori, 5 wins (1999, 2009, 2011, 2019, 2020)
Current leading trainers: Mark Johnston, 4 wins (1995, 1997, 1998, 2004) and John Gosden 4 wins (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020)

Previous winners

Year Horse Jockey Trainer Owner Prize money




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


Super-Stradivarius sets new record in Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup

It was a case of different year but definitely the same old Stradivarius as the champion stayer broke yet more records by securing a fourth Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup.

It wasn’t all plain sailing as it has been in previous renewals, however, as a moderate pace and trouble in running meant he wasn’t allowed smooth passage in the home straight.

His superior class prevailed however as his trademark turn of foot saw him get out of trouble midway through the final furlong.

Stradivarius sat in fourth for most of the race, with Nayef Road leading them round in a modest gallop. This continued well into the straight before the front runner began to press, turning the race into a sprint finish.

As Spanish Mission and Eagles By Day made their move from the back it caused what seemed like major traffic problems for the serial champion, who became very boxed in. Now held on the rail, Frankie Dettori was unable to push the button when he wanted with little daylight and major rival Santiago getting clear first run.

However once Dettori was able to get racing room Stradivarius showed the class and turn of foot that has made him a household name. The afterburners came into full flow on the favourite and he cruised past Nayef Road and Santiago with little fuss to win reasonably comfortably. Nayef Road was once again gallant and stuck on to finish 2nd.

John Gosden surprised many by indicating the Prix de l’arc de Triomphe would be a an end of season target in the post-race interviews.


Position Horse Jockey Trainer Owner
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The Course

You may not have visited this racecourse, just north of Chichester in West Sussex, but you’ll surely have heard of ‘Glorious Goodwood’, the venue’s five-day summer festival.

  • Course plan
  • Course Intro

The festival forms a central part of the QIPCO British Champions Series, featuring three contrasting races at the end of July – the Qatar Sussex Stakes for Europe’s top milers, the Qatar Goodwood Cup for long-distance ‘stayers’ and the Qatar Nassau Stakes for a select field of fillies.

Horseracing began at Goodwood in 1802, courtesy of the third Duke of Richmond. Not that he was a huge fan. His main aim was to keep the officers of the Sussex Militia entertained.

Today’s course has a complex layout, with a six-furlong straight feeding into a tight right-handed loop catering for longer-distance races. The venue is overlooked by Trundle Iron Age hill fort, acting as an informal grandstand and offering fine views across the whole course.

Find out about racing at Goodwood

Getting there

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