Goodwood Cup Betting

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The annual Glorious Goodwood Festival takes place in late July or early August, offering five full days of Thoroughbred racing and social events to rival the Royal Ascot meeting held in June. Day Three here is Ladies Day, when a host of celebrities, racing fans and fashion icons get together at the Sussex Downs dressed in full regalia. The day’s race card features the historic and demanding £100,000 Goodwood Cup, preceded by a £70,000 sprint known as the King George Stakes

The Group 2 Goodwood Cup is a two-mile flat race open to horses aged three years and upwards. The younger horses carry eight stone four pounds, while entrants of four years or more bear nine-stone-seven.

There is a three-pound allowance for fillies and mares. Penalties are applied for winners of races held since 1st November of the previous year, amounting to five pounds for Group 1 victors and three pounds for those who succeeded in Group 2 events. Races won as two-year-olds, however, are exempt from the penalties.

The earliest version of this event was conducted in 1808. However, after it was won on three occasions by Bucephalus, its silver trophy cup was permanently awarded to the horse’s owner. A replacement trophy cup made of gold was created for what is now considered the true first running of the Goodwood Cup in 1812. At that time the race distance was three full miles, and a horse named Shoe-strings won the inaugural running.

In subsequent years, the length of the race was shortened to two miles and five furlongs. Although the Goodwood Cup was classed at the Group 2 level in 1971, it was relegated to Group 3 in 1985 and the distance was again reduced by a furlong in 1990.

In 1991, the race gained its first sponsor, Dickins & Jones, and the length of the course was again adjusted to two miles exactly. In 1995, the event then sponsored by Tiffany was promoted back to Group 2 status to form a leg of the British Stayers’ Triple crown. Additional sponsors followed, including Garrard, Crowson, J.P. Morgan, Lady O, Abn Amro, Royal Bank of Scotland and Coutts. In 2010, Artemis picked up the title spot, which it retains to this day.

As Goodwood’s oldest and most popular race, this event has attracted many famous horses. A number were able to record double wins here, starting with Fleur de Lis in 1829-30 and Priam in 1831-32. The latest two-time victors were Persian Punch in 2001 and 2003 and Yeats in 2006 and 2008. There is one steed, however, that held on for three victories in the Goodwood Cup. That hat-trick belongs to Double Trigger, the winner in 1995 and 1997-98.

Five different jockeys have posted five wins in the Goodwood Cup. Fleur de Lis’s rider Jem Robinson did it first between 1829 and 1842. George Fordham followed up with a handful of victories between Baroncino in 1855 and Border Minstrel in 1883. Then came Steve Donoghue’s five in 1919-1930 and Lester Piggott with his in 1958-1981. The most recent member of the fivesome is Pat Eddery, winning on Erimo Hawk in 1972, Valuable Witness in 1985, Mazzacano in 1989, Sonus in 1993 and Grey Shot in 1996.

Only one trainer can claim seven wins in this event. That would be John Scott, who got them all in the 19th century, starting with Hornsea in 1836 and Carew in 1837, followed by back-to-back victories with Charles the Twelfth in 1841-42 and Canezou in 1849-50. His final triumph came with Sweetsauce in 1860.

In the modern era, a number of trainers have schooled three or more winners, including Mark Johnston with five and several with three, such as Henry Cecil and Barry Hills. Most recently, Sir Michael Stoute and Aiden O’Brien have had a pair of winners each, all four of them coming within the last six years.

The two-mile distance seems to favour the more experienced stayers. No three-year-old has won here since Lucky Moon in 1990. The oldest winner was Persian Punch in his two victories at ages eight and ten. There have also been a number of successful seven-year-olds, including two in the last three editions.

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