British Champions Long Distance Cup Tips
British Champions Long Distance Cup Stakes Preview: Tips, Betting Offers and Odds
Ascot’s Champions Day has something for everyone, with the sprinters, middle distance stars and stayers all catered for. It is the stamina laden performers who kick off the action in the British Champions Long Distance Cup Stakes. Here we take a look at the best odds and offers available and provide our betting tips for the race.
This 2m Group 2 contest open to runners aged three and older was originally run at Newmarket in 1873, only moving to Ascot in 2011. The prize money on offer has grown considerably over the years, now reaching a total of £350,000.
British Champions Long Distance Cup Tips and Betting Offers, 2:10, 19th October 2019
Stradivarius is one of the biggest stars of flat racing. He has been the best stayer on the flat for two years now and bids to round off another perfect season with victory in the British Champions Long Distance Cup. It won’t be easy given the calibre of his competition but can you really bet against the favourite?
Imperious Stradivarius to Win Again
The best price you can get on Stradivarius winning the Long Distance Cup is the 4/7 that bet365 are quoting. That tells you pretty much all you need to know about just how good John Gosden’s five-year-old is.
Stradivarius had only really shown glimpses of what was to come when he first competed in the Long Distance Cup in 2017. He put up a really good fight to the first two home – Order Of St George and Torcedor – but just didn’t quite have the legs to get them beaten. It was a different story 12 months ago when he returned as the bona fide best stayer around.
As we’ve seen, the last year has only strengthened Stradivarius’ legend. Yes, he’s been pushed very close by Southern France and Dee Ex Bee but the fact that he had enough heart to dig deep and keep his run of wins going is only to his credit. Some will doubtless be put off the price on Saturday but Stradivarius is simply the best horse in the race and should win.
Who Will Push Stradivarius Hardest?
The bookies’ odds suggest that Kew Gardens is the main danger to Stradivarius in the Long Distance Cup. Aidan O’Brien’s four-year-old has certainly started to blossom since competing over longer trips and the step up to the best part of 2 miles shouldn’t be a concern. He’s also run well on softer ground before so does offer each way appeal.
The same can be said of Withhold. He made relatively light work of a Listed race over 2 miles at Newmarket last time out. That appearance came after a couple of handicap runs and showed the six-year-old to be running as well as ever. A return to Group company was inevitable but a run in the Long Distance Cup is a bold move. It’s one that can pay off though.
Stradivarius heads to Ascot as many people’s idea of a very good thing. Few other horses will have as much support in the betting as Gosden’s superstar and it would be a major surprise were he to fail to see out his season with another win at 4/7 with bet365.
When it comes to those best placed to challenge the favourite, Kew Gardens and Withhold are the two to concentrate on. Kew Gardens arguably has the class but it’s the heart and proven stamina of Withhold that marks him out as the one for each way money at 12/1 with Ladbrokes.
British Long Distance Champions Cup Stakes Previous Winners
- 2018 – Stradivarius – jockey Frankie Dettori, trainer John Gosden
- 2017 – Order Of St George – jockey Ryan Moore, trainer Aidan O’Brien
- 2016 – Sheikhzayedroad – jockey Martin Harley, trainer David Simcock
- 2015 – Flying Officer – jockey Frankie Dettori, trainer John Gosden
- 2014 – Forgotten Rules – jockey Pat Smullen, trainer Dermot Weld
- 2013 – Royal Diamond – jockey Johnny Murtagh, trainer Johnny Murtagh
- 2012 – Rite Of Passage – jockey Pat Smullen, trainer Dermot Weld
- 2011 – Fame And Glory – jockey Jamie Spencer, trainer Aidan O’Brien
- 2010 – Tastahil – jockey William Buick, trainer Barry Hills
- 2009 – Akmal – jockey Richard Hills, trainer John Dunlop
- 2008 – Veracity – jockey Frankie Dettori, trainer Saeed bin Suroor
- 2007 – Royal And Regal – jockey Stéphane Pasquier, trainer André Fabre
- 2006 – Hawridge Prince – jockey Jim Crowley, trainer Rod Millman
This race has only existed in its current guise since as recently as 2011 when it was moved to Ascot to make up part of the new British Champions Day. For the majority of its lifespan the event went by the name of the Jockey Club Cup and was run at the traditional home of flat racing, Newmarket. Wherever it has been run, the contest has always acted as the ideal stage on which the best of the staying division can showcase their talents.
Having won the Cheveley Park Stakes over 6f, the 1000 Guineas over a mile, the Oaks over 1m4f and the St Leger over 1m6f, wonder filly Pretty Polly must go down as one of the most talented and versatile performers of all time. Her numerous other career successes included a victory in this race in 1905.
1980 winner Ardross was a truly dominant 20th century stayer, landing two Ascot Gold Cups, two Yorkshire Cups, a Goodwood Cup and a Doncaster Cup in addition to his success here. Whilst not the most prolific of sires, some of his staying acumen did pass down the bloodline, with his son Alderbrook winning the Champion Hurdle and grandson Coneygree recording a famous success in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
26 time champion Sir Gordon Richards regularly sits at the top of the pile when it comes to assessing the greatest jockeys of all time, and it is he who leads the way in this race with an unequalled seven wins.
Seven is also the magic number for trainer Barry Hills, who recorded his septet of triumphs between the years of 1991 and 2010. As of 2015 no other trainer had matched this total.
Remarkably five of Barry Hills seven wins in this event came with the same horse. Further Flight was a threat whenever he lined up in staying contests during his illustrious career, but here he proved simply unstoppable, winning five on the spin between 1991 and 1995.
Further Flight may lead the way but the unique demands of this race have thrown up a fair share of multiple winners over the years. St Gatien, High Line and the hugely popular Persian Punch all took this three times.