Vintage Stakes Betting

When the Glorious Goodwood Festival takes place for five days in late July or early August each year, much of the Day Two focus is on the £300,000 Sussex Stakes for the best milers in Europe. But preceding it on the card is another race well worthy of punters’ attention—the seven-furlong Vintage Stakes.

This £80,000 Group 2 flat race is run on the right-handed turf of the Goodwood Racecourse in full view of up 100,000 spectators. Runners in the Vintage Stakes carry exactly nine stone, with an allowance of three pounds for fillies. A penalty of three pounds is applied to horses that have finished first in previous Group 1 or Group 2 meetings.

The very first running of this event was in 1975, when it was classed as a Listed race until 1986, when Group 3 status was conferred. From the late 1980s, Lanson was the primary sponsor, and until 2001 the race was known as either the Lanson Champagne or Champagne Lanson Vintage Stakes. In 2002, it became the Campaign Victor Vintage Stakes and was accorded Group 2 status the following year, when the current sponsor, Veuve Clicquot, began backing the event.

Each sprinter gets just one shot at victory in the Vintage Stakes. One of the most memorable winners to leave a mark here was the Dick Hern-trained bay colt named Troy in 1978. He carried Willie Carson to the finish line first here for his debut victory, just a year before the duo won the Epsom Derby. Carson repeated the Vintage-Derby double in 1991 aboard Dr Devious for trainer Peter Chapple-Hyam.

The most recent horse to pull off the pair of victories was Sir Percy in 2005-06. The bay stallion out of Old Suffolk Stud was trained by Marcus Tregoning for owner Anthony Pakenham and ridden by Martin Dwyer.

Among jockeys, however, Carson is the only one to have had six triumphs at the Vintage Stakes. His other four wins came aboard Church Parade in 1980, Mukaddamah in 1990, Maroof in 1992 and Alhaarth in 1995. Hern trained the first and the last of those winners as well as Troy, and he added three more along the way, including the first two Vintage Stakes champions—Riboboy in 1975 and Sky Ship in 1976—plus Petoski in 1984 for a total six.

Matching Hern’s half dozen was trainer Henry Cecil. His wins began with Marathon Gold in 1979, followed by Trojan Fen in 1983, Faustus in 1985, High Estate in 1988, Be My Chief in 1989 and Eltish in 1994.

In more recent years, jockey Frankie Dettori has associated his name with the Vintage Stakes, winning it four times since 1998. His first victory came atop Aljabr that year, followed by a win on Naheef in 2001. Then the Italian maestro of the reins turned in back-to-back victories, racing first to the finish post on favoured Rio de la Plata in 2007 and then on the favourite Orizaba in 2008.

Irish-bred Xtension was the most recent favourite to win here, paying 7/2 in 2009. Indeed, the top-touted entrants have prevailed in half the races of the past decade, and the last horse to win at long odds was Dublin in 2002 at 11/1.

Fashion displays and celebrity-spotting are as much a part of Glorious Goodwood as spectacular racing. Although Day Two has a bit less flair than Ladies Day, which follows, the meeting’s atmosphere is always chic, relaxed and incredibly stylish and the wagering certainly adds to the excitement. Bookmakers, on-course betting shops and tote positions are located throughout the Goodwood grounds, with betting options starting at just £2 a flutter.

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