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The Racing Post Trophy has proven to be one of the top races for two year olds since its inaugural running in 1961 (when it was called the Timeform Gold Cup).

Run over a distance of one mile at Doncaster, its place in the calendar in late October means that it gives the later maturing two year olds a legitimate end of season target with a view towards the following year’s classics. It is actually the final Group One race in the British flat season, and so holds a prestigious place in racing history. 

Racing Post Trophy winners

Some fantastic horses have won the Racing Post Trophy down through the years, and the race mainly provides a guide to the following season’s Derby. The mile distance is quite a stamina test for the two year olds, and most winners prove well capable of staying the mile and a half distance of the Derby at three. The late October date for the race often means that the ground can be on the testing side, which puts even more of an emphasis on stamina.

Reference Point, High Chapparal, Motivator and Camelot are just some of the Racing Post Trophy winners who went on to complete the Derby double the following season. St Nicholas Abbey was another great racehorse to win the Racing Post Trophy. Though he didn’t win the Derby, he did win the Breeders’ Cup Turf and the Dubai Sheema Classic, proving himself to be one of the best of his generation.

Sir Henry Cecil holds the record for most wins by a trainer, with ten individual victories. He farmed the race between Approval’s win in 1969, right up to King’s Theatre’s win in 1993. Since then, Aidan O’ Brien has been the most successful trainer, with seven wins and counting. This will come as no surprise, when you consider his Derby record also. Saratoga Springs was O’ Brien’s first winner, and High Chapparal and Camelot were two others that completed the Derby double.

racing post trophy tips

In recent times, jockey Andrea Atzeni achieved the notable feat of winning the race three years running but for three different trainers. Kingston Hill won for Roger Varian in 2013, Elm Park for Andrew Balding in 2014 and Marcel for Peter Chapple-Hyam in 2015 were the three horses to complete the feat for Atzeni, and it is a distinction that is unlikely to be challenged in the near future.

The record for wins by a jockey is shared by two of the great names in the history of flat racing. Lester Piggott and Pat Eddery have five wins apiece, and their rivalry through the sixties, seventies and eighties was one of the most enthralling aspects of racing at that time.

The Racing Post Trophy is not seen to clash with the Dewhurst (run a couple of weeks earlier, over seven furlongs at Newmarket). This is because the Dewhurst is mostly seen as a Guineas pointer, and tends to attract speedier types. Both races are firmly embedded in the racing calendar, and no two races sway ante-post markets for the following season’s classics like them.

Given the amount of top class horses that have come out of the Racing Post Trophy in the past, it is unlikely to be moved from its perch as the top trial race for the potential Derby pretenders lurking amongst the crop of two year olds.

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