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A Complete Racing Post Trophy Guide

The Racing Post Trophy is one of the final Group 1 events of the British Flat Racing season for two-year-olds. It is held at the historical Doncaster Racecourse annually in late October. It is the feature event of the Racing Post Trophy Meeting with a purse of £215,500 (as of 2017) . Established in 1961, this race has hosted top-talent including Reference Point, Motivator and Authorized. Particularly in recent history, this juvenile event has leaned toward being favourite friendly.

A Racing Post Trophy Breakdown

This race is a juvenile event open only to two-year-old colts and fillies with an exclusion on geldings. The Racing Post Trophy Stakes is run over a straight mile at Doncaster Racecourse. Colts are required to carry 9st-1lb and fillies must carry 8st-12lbs.

History of the Race and Past Champions

The Racing Post Trophy is a relatively new addition to the British racing calendar, having been established in 1961. This event has been known by a number of names. It was originally known as the Timeform Gold Cup, as it was founded by Phil Bull, the man who established the Timeform formula to rate race horse performance. The Timeform organisation maintained sponsorship for the event until 1964. The Observer newspaper took over sponsorship in 1965 and the race became known as the Observer Gold Cup. It was under this name that the race was classified as a Group 1 event when the rating system was introduced in 1971.

Bookmaker William Hill became the race"s new sponsor in 1976, and the name was changed again to the Futurity Stakes. Since 1989 the event has been known as the Racing Post Trophy in honour of current sponsor The Racing Post.

Fact File

Location: Doncaster

Grade: Group 1

Race Type: Flat Race


As this race is restricted to horses aged two, it is only possible for a horse to win it once. However, trainers and jockeys have competed multiple years for the title of top-competitor. Below are the current records for the Racing Post Trophy Stakes (as of 2017).

  • Since the inaugural race in 1961, the fastest winning time of 1 minute and 37.03 seconds was set by the 2010 winner Casamento. Frankie Dettori rode the colt to a historically fast victory to win by three-quarters of a length ahead of Seville. It was the second of only two Group 1 victories in his brief racing career.

  • Lester Piggott and Pat Eddery are the most successful jockeys in the history of the Racing Post Trophy with five victories apiece.

  • Henry Cecil is the most successful trainer as he won on 10 occasions.

Best Moments

The Racing Post Trophy has risen in prestige since its establishment in 1961 featuring champions that have went on to win English Classics. Here are a few of the top horses and moments in the history of this juvenile event (as of 2017).

jockey racing horse
  • The 2015 winner Marcel stands out as the longest-priced winner of the past decade. As three-quarters of the winners since 2007 have been favourites, this colt's victory made for an especially memorable result.

  • Only two juveniles managed to go on to win the 2000 Guineas Stakes after taking the Racing Post Trophy Stakes. The first was High Top (1971, 1972) followed nearly two decades later by Camelot (2011, 2012).

  • Five Racing Post champions have managed to go on to win the Derby as three-year-olds. These include: Reference Point (1986, 1987), High Chaparral (2001, 2002), Motivator (2004, 2005), Authorized (2006, 2007), and Camelot (2011, 2012).

On Course Bookmakers

Horse racing can't be horse racing without betting. This is what injects the thrill into horse racing for the spectators. If it wasn’t for the betting aspect, whether it's online or offline, horse racing would be relatively dull and nowhere near as entertaining as other types of spectator sports.

Just how do you go about placing a bet on course? Well, it's simple. You can place a bet either on the tote, at one of the betting kiosks, or with the on-course bookmakers in the ring. The most exciting way is to place bets with the on-course bookmakers as this really feels like you are entering into the world of horse racing.

Remember that every horse has odds attached to it. These odds have been carefully worked out by professional odds compilers off track and well before the race starts. Complex data is fed into algorithms and probabilities are worked out. This then equates to betting odds . If it becomes clear that the favourite has a 50% chance of winning then 50% expressed as odds is even money.

The bookmaker attempts to make some money on these odds and so shaves them slightly, to say 4/5 and that's their profit. They may alter their odds even more if large volumes of liquidity comes pouring in, in an attempt to balance their books. The odds can be anything but they all depend on one thing, this is to do with the probability of your horse winning.

The greater the probability, the lower the odds and it really is that simple. So even if you have no knowledge of horses, a quick glance at the betting market will reveal to you who the best horses are.

The Actual Race Itself

Once you have placed your bet, now it is time for the race. As a rule, depending on the meeting, there will be between six and seven races on any given day. The time of the first race will differ based on the time of the year. Light levels are much better in the summer months and it's common for races to start at say 1.30pm or even 2pm.

Race times are brought forward in the winter months for obvious reasons. Each race will be over a varying distance with different numbers of competitors. This is dependent on just how many horses are entered for that race. In the week, the average number of runners in a race can be somewhere between ten to twelve!

However, at the big meetings that can sometimes jump up to twenty or more. Make sure to break down your betting bank so that you can bet on each race. You will be amazed at the atmosphere of a real live race meeting and even more so at the festival.

When the race starts, you may find yourself in a position to not be able to see the action. Remember that racecourses are so big that the action will usually be on the far side of the track. Never fear though, if you position yourself near the finishing line then you will be able to see the most important part of the race.

Any horse race doesn't really get going until the final two furlongs anyway. The first part of the race is merely about the horses jockeying for position. However, this isn't really important and the most important part of the day is simply being there and having a great time. So the next time you go racing or the first time you go racing, forget about whether you win or lose and just let your hair down.