Gordon Stakes Betting

In late July or early August each year, the five-day Glorious Goodwood Festival takes place, about six weeks after the Royal Ascot meeting. Opening day has been designated as “Sporting Greats Day,” gathering a variety of Olympians and other sporting heroes in celebration of British sporting excellence. It also features a full card of racing, highlighted by a seven-furlong sprint—the Group 2 Lennox Stakes. Another much anticipated Day One race at a greater distance and with an even longer history is the Group 3 Gordon Stakes.

Open to Thoroughbreds aged three years and upwards, this £70,000 event covers a distance of one mile and four furlongs over the right-handed turf of the Goodwood Racecourse. All starters carry a weight of nine stone, with an allowance of three pounds for fillies and mares. Penalties are applied to runners that have finished first in meetings since 1st January, amounting to seven pounds for Group 1 winners, five pounds for Group 2 winners and three pounds for Group 3 winners.

Inaugurated in 1902, the Gordon Stakes was named after the Duke of Gordon, a dukedom concurrently held by the Duke of Richmond, who was the owner of Goodwood Racecourse. Although no horse has the opportunity to run twice here, winners of this event have gone on to great success, such as Prince Palatine, a bay stallion that left his mark here in 1911 before going on to victories in the St. Leger Stakes, Eclipse Stakes and Ascot Gold Cup. He was the British Horse of the Year in 1912 and again in 1913.

For most of its illustrious history, the Gordon Stakes had no primary backer. In 1995, Westminster Taxi Insurance became the race’s first title sponsor, followed by Peugeot in 1998. Although the registered name of the event has never changed, it was known as the ABN Amro Stakes in 2004-05 and as the BGC Stakes in 2006. There was no main sponsor in 2007, and then the world’s leading betting exchange came on board and has been the supporter of the betfair Gordon Stakes ever since.

Apart from providing excitement for the Glorious Goodwood Festival, this event serves as a major trial for the final Classic of the flat racing season, the St. Leger Stakes. Winners of both races include Commanche Run in 1984, Minister Son in 1988, Nedawi in 1998, Millenary in 2000 and Conduit in 2008.

Two jockeys have had the honour of riding half a dozen winners in the Gordon Stakes. The first to accomplish the feat was Sir Gordon Richards, who got his first victory here on Tavern in 1933). He followed up with wins aboard Magnet in 1936, Nathoo in 1948, Royal Forest in 1949, Prince d’Ouilly in 1951 and Gay Time in 1952.

The second ride with six Gordon Stakes wins was Willie Carson. He was in the saddle when Grey Thunder crossed the finish line first in 1974, and then rode to victory on More Light in 1979, Prince Bee in 1980, Bustomi in 1981 and Love the Groom in 1987. His last win was atop Minster Son.

Only one trainer tops the leaderboard here. That’s Sir Michael Stoute with seven successes to his credit. The winning began with Electric in 1982 and continued with Kazaroun in 1985, Warrshan in 1989, Alexius in 2001 and Maraahel in 2004. His most recent wins include Conduit, followed by Harbinger in 2009.

Over the past five years, the bookmakers have been flawless in predicting the outcome of the Gordon Stakes. They got Sixties Icon right at 7/4 odds in 2005, followed by the 5/2 joint favourite Yellowstone in 2007. They didn’t miss on Stoute’s winners, putting Conduit at 1/2 and Harbinger at 11/4. And in 2010, the bookmakers chose correctly with Rebel Soldier at 4/1. The last time they were far off the mark was in 2003, when Phoenix Reach delivered a surprise upset at 12/1.

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