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The Al Shaqab 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


Trueshan too good in the Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup

QIPCO Long Distance Cup champion Trueshan landed more top honours in the Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup. He gave trainer Alan King a first Group 1 success on the flat with a comprehensive success on the Sussex Downs.

All the talk in the morning before the race concerned the participation of four-time winner Stradivarius. However, that rival was withdrawn with the ground deemed too soft.

This meant that Trueshan would go off favourite for the Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup, and he did not disappoint his backers. It wasn’t all smooth sailing, however, as the horse pulled in fits and starts during the two mile contest.

His jockey Hollie Doyle however, guided him to a handy position and when entering the straight got first run on the rail. Away He Goes and Sir Ron Priestley did their best to maintain a challenge in the final two furlongs, and the former looked like he might make Trueshan work.

However, Trueshan’s class prevailed once his jockey got serious and he began to assert close home to win impressively.

Hollie Doyle was typically beaming after the race, saying: “He’s been on my mind since Champions Day.”

“Look at him, he’s an exceptionally talented animal on this ground


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

PO18 0PS

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