British Champions Long Distance Cup Betting

Starting in 2011, the QIPCO British Champions Series is conducted throughout the flat racing season leading up to a new fixture at Ascot Racecourse in mid-October, the QIPCO British Champions Day. This ground-breaking meeting features £3 million in prize money for the deciding races in each of five championship categories, one of which is the £zero,000 QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup—a Group 1 level race in all but name.

This grueling two-mile race continues the traditions of the Jockey Club Cup, a Group 3 event open to Thoroughbreds aged three years or older. The race was previously conducted during the Cambridgeshire Meeting on the right-handed “L” of the Newmarket Racecourse. From now onward, it will be run on the right-handed turf at Ascot as the final major long distance race of the British season.

Each of the three-year-olds must carry a weight of eight stone four pounds, while the four-year-olds and older horses must bear nine stone even. There is an allowance of three pounds for fillies and mares. Penalties are applied to entrants successful in previous events since 28th February, amounting to seven pounds for Group 1 winners, five pounds for Group 2 winners and three pounds for Group 3 winners.

The original Jockey Club Cup dates back to 1873, when it was staged as a two-and-a-quarter-mile event. In 1959, the distance was reduced to one and a half miles and then increased to its current two-mile length in 1963. From 1971, when the present system of race grading was established, the Jockey Club Cup was accorded Group 3 status.

Jockey Club Estates has served admirably as the event’s sponsor throughout its long history. The Club’s replacement by QIPCO in the title role, increase of purse size from its previous high of £65,000 and move to a new venue will essentially make this a new race, but the British Champions Long Distance Cup will retain all of the records of the Jockey Club Cup, which include some famous moments indeed.

Chippendale was the event’s first double winner in 1880 and 1882, but it was St. Galien that set the mark to beat by completing a hat-trick of victories in 1884-86. Among the greatest of the early champions here was Pretty Polly, winner in 1905 and only the fifth filly to ever capture the British Fillies Triple crown since its inception in 1814.

The early 20th century saw many back-to-back winners of the Jockey Club Cup, including Radium in 1907-08, Aleppo in 1912-13, Son-In-Law in 1914-15, Quashed in 1935-36 and Vic Day in 1948-49. A second hat-trick of wins was accomplished by High Line in 1969-71, which seemed phenomenal at the time, but twenty years later something happened to eclipse that achievement.

Trainer Barry Mills brought a five-year-old named Further Flight to the Newmarket track in 1991 to be ridden by his son, Michael. Their grey gelding was the 7/4 favourite that day, having an impressive record of nine wins in 18 outings since his debut in 1988. Further Flight did not disappoint the bookmakers, claiming victory by a length and half and setting the stage for what would become a history-making five consecutive Jockey Club Cup wins through 1995. Nothing like it had ever been seen before…nor since. The gelding went on to a career total of 24 wins, seven seconds and seven thirds in 70 starts, which included a third place finish in the 1997 Jockey Club Cup.

The elder Hills added to his winning total with Rainbow High in 1999. And then just to show he still had the touch, Hills brought Tastahil to the final running of the Cup under its original name in 2010 and produced a seventh win, as the chestnut gelding beat favoured Motrice by a whopping five lengths.

Among riders, Sir Gordon Richards has the distinction of being the Jockey Club Cup’s only seven-time winner. He got his first victory aboard Brumeux in 1930, and followed it up with wins atop Brulette in 1932, Felicitation in 1934, Foxglove II in 1938 and Shahpoor in 1943. He last two successful rides came with double winner Vic Day.

As the new millennium began, a new champion dominated the running here. Persian Punch trained by David Elsworth won as a seven-year-old in 2000 and then returned to win again at ages nine and ten in 2002 and 2003. Since then, two three-year-olds have reached the finish post first: Royal and Regal in 2007 and Akmal in 2009; both were favoured on those outings.

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