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The Matchbook Yorkshire Cup

2.45pm York

Spanish Mission Yorkshire Cup
  • Distance 1m 6f
  • Class 1
  • Group 2
  • Prize money £260,000


The 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


Mission complete for Balding and Buick in the Yorkshire Cup

Spanish Mission lays down strong marker in staying division for 2021

Spanish Mission outstayed a small but competitive field in the Matchbook Yorkshire Cup for trainer Andrew Balding.

In a race led by long-time absentee Wells Farhh Go, favourite Sir Ron Priestley was made to bide his time. Franny Norton was unable to deploy the usual front-running tactics that had served them so well at Newmarket last time out.

As they headed down the straight, Sir Ron Priestley made his move. However, it was well covered by William Buick on eventual winner Spanish Mission.

Entering the final two furlongs Spanish Mission asserted and engaged his stamina. Santiago and Ryan Moore did their best to go with him, but in truth had no answer.

Spanish Mission saw the trip out all the way to the line to add the Group 2 Matchbook Yorkshire Cup to his list of honours.


Position Horse Jockey Trainer Owner
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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.

  • Course plan
  • Course Intro

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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