Gold Cup 2021 Racecard
The Gold Cup is a Group 1 Flat race held on the third day of Royal Ascot (Thursday), over a distance of roughly two and a half miles, and is open to horses of four years and older.
JOCKEY & TRAINER
With a purse of £500,000, £283,550 of that going to winning connections, it is the feature race on the Thursday card, and the premier stayers’ race of the UK Flat calendar.
At around a quarter of a mile longer than any other UK pattern race, it represents an extreme test of stamina, and is the first leg of the Stayers’ Triple Crown, followed by the Goodwood Cup (Group 1, 2m) and the Doncaster Cup (Group 2, 2m 2f).
The race has been run annually for over 200 years, having been established in 1807, though it was originally open to horses of three years and older. It has almost always been known as the ‘Ascot Gold Cup’, but in fact ‘Ascot’ does not appear in the race’s official name.
With no maximum age allowed, horses commonly compete in the Gold Cup in successive years, and many have managed successive wins. Since the turn of the millennium, two horses have managed such a feat: the Mark-Johnston-trained Royal Rebel (2001, 2002) and Aidan O’Brien’s brilliant Yeats, who won a record four times (2006-2009). Unsurprisingly, O’Brien is also the leading trainer, with seven wins altogether (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2014 and 2016).
The jockey record is equally impressive, with the great Lester Piggott managing no fewer than 11 Gold Cup victories over the course of 25 years (1957, 1958, 1961, 1963, 1965, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1981 and 1982).