The Ascot Gold Cup
What You Need to Know
- The Ascot Gold Cup is a Group 1 flat race that is held on the third day of Royal Ascot. This year it's on Thursday the 18th of June.
- The Gold Cup is one of the oldest and most prestigious of all British horse races and seen as the true test of a long-distance runner's pedigree.
- These days, the race is the highlight of Ladies' Day at the Ascot Festival and attracts huge crowds as well as a large global TV audience.
- The race is perfect for having a flutter, even if you're a complete novice. All bookies will offer a great selection of bets right up to the start of the race. However, for the best odds, open up an online betting account and put money on the action this way.
- Generally speaking, the bookies get it right with the Gold Cup, so consider putting your money on one of the favourites.
- Travelling to Ascot is very easy, with regular trains from London and Reading and good road connections with the South and the Midlands.
- If you do fancy visiting Ascot, be aware that strict dress codes are enforced for some parts of the course.
The Ascot Gold Cup is one of the oldest and most prestigious of all British horse races. Run over a distance of 2 miles and 4 furlongs, it's a Group 1 flat race and has long been regarded as the biggest test for 'stayers', or horses that specialise in running long distances.
History of the Ascot Gold Cup
The Ascot Gold Cup is one of the world's oldest races. It was first held at the Ascot racecourse way back in 1807, in the presence of King George III.
Over the years, the Gold Cup grew in popularity and prestige and was soon attracting some of Europe's best horses, not least since winners could command huge stud fees.
Soon after it was set up, the Gold Cup was made part of the Stayers' Triple Crown, alongside the Goodwood Cup and the Doncaster Cup, with winning all three the true sign of a long-distance champion.
The Race Today
Today, the race is the true highlight of Royal Ascot, taking place on the third day of the famous meet, which is traditionally Ladies' Day.
Following tradition, the race is open to horses aged four years or older, with the right-handed course some 4,023 metres in length. Horses and riders compete for a prize pot of around £375,000, with the winner getting in excess of £200,000.
Around 300,000 people visit Ascot racecourse during the Royal Ascot meet, many of them watching the Gold Cup. Most years, either the Queen or another senior member of the Royal Family will also be in attendance to watch the main event.
The 2015 Horses and Latest Odds
Betting on the Ascot Gold Cup
The Ascot Gold Cup is massively popular with sports betting fans, and for good reason. Not only does it feature the best horses, the race has also provided many upsets, helping punters win big money. What's more, as well as trackside betting at Ascot itself, you can also bet on the high street. However, if you really want the best selection of betting markets and the most-competitive odds, you should bet online.
Generally speaking, the bookies often get it right with their odds, with the favourites usually either winning or coming close. That said, plenty of outsiders have won the Gold Cup over the years, so consider putting money on a less-fancied horse if you really want to win big. Better still, consider having a flutter on a horse to win at Ascot and then at Goodwood and Doncaster to take the Stayers' Triple Crown.
Before you bet, check out this guide to the best online sports betting sites around to make sure you get the best account for you.
Facts and Records
The Gold Cup boasts a rich and colourful history. Here are just a few fascinating facts about this famous race:
- For several years in the 1800s, winners were awarded the Emperor's Plate, first given out to mark the visit of Tasr Nicholas I of Russia to Ascot.
- Just as with the Royal Hunt Cup and the Queen's Vase, winners of the Gold Cup get to keep it!
- No horse has won the Gold Cup more than Yeats. The Irish thoroughbred won the prestigious race a historic four times, first in 2006 and then again in 2007, 2008 and finally 2009.
- The all-time Gold Cup leading jockey is Lestor Piggott, who won the race 11 times. His first win came in 1957 and his final victory was a full 25 years later in 1982.
Getting to the Race
Whether you're travelling by car or by public transport, getting to Ascot to see the Gold Cup action for yourself is straightforward.
- If you're travelling by car, then you will find Ascot Racecourse just off Junction 6 of the M4. After turning off here, follow the A332 towards Windsor and you will then see plenty of clear signs for the racecourse.
- Alternatively, by train, you can catch a train directly to Ascot station from Reading and London Waterloo. From Ascot station is just a short walk and is well sign-posted. Plenty of taxis are also on hand during major meets, including the day of the Gold Cup.
For more information on getting to Ascot to see the Gold Cup action in person, check out the official website, where you can also find information about getting to the course by coach or even by helicopter.
Note that during the Royal Ascot meet, a strict dress code is enforced. In the Royal Enclosure, for instance, women, must wear a day dress and a hat, while men must be dressed in a formal morning suit, complete with top hat.
- Other big races at the Ascot Festival are covered on this website including guides to the King George, the Royal Hunt Cup, and the Queen's Vase.
- Before you have a flutter on the Gold Cup, you should make sure you know what you're doing. Check out this useful guide to betting on horses and get started today
- Fancy seeing the action for yourself? Visit the official Ascot website to plan your day at the races
- The UK has a wealth of top quality races spread out over the year and these include the Grand National, Cheltenham Gold Cup and Epsom Derby.