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)