Which trainer has won the Gold Cup at Ascot most often?

Which trainer has won the Gold Cup at Ascot most often?  The Gold Cup – often referred to as the ‘Ascot Gold Cup’, to distinguish it from similarly-titled races, such as the Ayr Gold Cup or Cheltenham Gold Cup – is run over an advertised distance of 2 miles 4 furlongs as has been a fixture of the Royal Meeting at Ascot, traditionally staged in mid-June, since 1807. In its long, illustrious history, a total of 22 horses have won the Gold Cup at least twice, but the most successful of all, so far, was Yeats, who won four consecutive renewals between 2006 and 2009.

Yeats was trained by Aidan O’Brien and, perhaps not altogether surprisingly, the current ‘Master of Ballydoyle’ is the most successful trainer in the history of the Gold Cup. Since Yeats, whom O’Brien hailed as ‘an unbelievable horse’, the training legend has saddled three more winners of the Gold Cup, for a career total of seven.

In 2011, the 5-year-old Fame And Glory, ridden by Jamie Spencer, justified favouritism with a clear-cut, 3-length win over Opinion Poll. In 2014, the 4-year-old Leading Light, ridden by Joseph O’Brien, son of the trainer, did likewise, but only just prevailed in a driving finish. In 2016, another 4-year-old, Order Of St. George, ridden by Ryan Moore, was again sent off favourite and ran out an impressive, 3-length winner from Mizzou. Indeed, the same horse started favorite again in 2018 and went agonisingly close to winning again, losing out by a short head to Big Orange.

When was the Lincoln Handicap last run at Lincoln Racecourse?

When was the Lincoln Handicap last run at Lincoln Racecourse?  Inaugurated, as the Lincoln Spring Handicap Stakes, in 1853, when it was run over a mile-and-a-half, the race that would eventually become the Lincoln Handicap was shortened to a mile in 1855 and renamed the Lincolnshire Handicap four years later. Apart from interruptions for World War I and World War II, the race was staged at Lincoln Racecourse, on the Carholme, or West Common, west of Lincoln city centre, every year until 1964. At that point, the Horserace Betting Levy Board withdraw its subsidy from Lincoln Racecourse, causing its closure, and the newly-christened Lincoln Handicap was transferred permanently to Doncaster Racecourse.

From its inception until the advent of all-weather racing in 1989, the Lincoln Handicap traditionally marked the start of the Flat season. Nowadays, Flat racing is staged all year round, but in its heyday, in the interwar years, the Lincolnshire Handicap was one of the highlights of the year, attracting more interest than the whole of the Cheltenham Festival. Coupled with the Grand National, which was run within a week or so, as the so-called ‘Spring Double’, the Lincolnshire Handicap was phenomenally popular which, now that it has become just another handicap, is probably difficult for modern racegoers to imagine.

Which Group One races are run at Royal Ascot?

Which Group One races are run at Royal Ascot?  Royal Ascot is, of course, a highlight of the British sporting and social calendar. Remarkably, though, as recently as 1999, the Royal Meeting featured just three highest category, Group One races. Those races were the St. James’s Palace Stakes, Gold Cup and Coronation Stakes.

However, in the interim, several races have gained, or regained, Group One status and, in 2015, Royal Ascot was extended from four days to five to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. At that point, a new Group One race, the Commonwealth Cup, run over six furlongs and restricted to three-year-olds, was added to the programme, making a total of eight in all.

In addition to the aforementioned races, the Prince of Wales’s Stakes was upgraded to Group One status in 2000, as were the Diamond Jubilee Stakes, formerly the Cork & Orrery Stakes, in 2002 and the Queen Anne Stakes in 2003. In 2005, the King’s Stand Stakes, which had previously held Group One status between 1973 and 1988, before being downgraded, became part of the so-called ‘Global Sprint Challenge’. As such, the five-furlong contest attracted a strong international entry, as a result of which it was upgraded to Group One status again in 2008.

How many times did Sir Henry Cecil win the 2,000 Guineas?

How many times did Sir Henry Cecil win the 2,000 Guineas?  The late Sir Henry Cecil, who died of cancer aged 70 in June, 2013, was one of the most successful trainers in the history of British Flat racing. After working as assistant trainer to his stepfather, Cecil Boyd-Rochfort, Cecil took out a training licence in his own right in 1969. He won the first of his 25 British Classics with Bolkonski, ridden by Gianfranco Dettori, father of Lanfranco ‘Frankie’ Dettori, in the 2,000 Guineas in 1975 and the second with Wollow, ridden by the same jockey, in the same race in 1976.

Cecil won the Flat Trainers’ Championship ten times between 1976 and 1993 but, thereafter, suffered a truly monumental fall from grace. The death of several influential owners and a public disagreement with Sheikh Mohammed led to his once-powerful string dwindling away and, for many years, success at the highest level became the exception, rather than the rule. Indeed, Cecil owed his survival in the training ranks to the loyalty of Khalid Abdullah, owner of Juddmonte Farms.

It was only fitting that, in 2011, Frankel, bred and owned by Juddmonte Farms and trained by Cecil, produced one of the greatest performances ever seen on a British racecourse when making all to win the 2,000 Guineas by six lengths. His third win in the Newmarket Classic propelled Cecil back to the top of his profession and he went on to enjoy his most successful season for a decade; he was knighted for services to horse racing in the Queen’s Birthday Honours that year.

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