Stradivarius capped off a perfect season by winning this race last year.
Traditionally the third race on the card of British Champions Day, the Group 2 Champions Long Distance Cup often proves to be a lively betting heat, and you can find the odds for the 2020 renewal of the Champions Long Distance Cup here a little closer to the time.
Champions Long Distance Cup Tips
The 2019 Long Distance Cup saw a minor surprise, with the Aidan O'Brien-trained Kew Gardens narrowly prevailing over the odds-on favourite Stradivarius, and our tip for the 2020 renewal will appear here closer to the time.
What is the Champions Long Distance Cup?
Run over just shy of two miles (one mile, seven furlongs and 209 yards), the Group 2 Champions Long Distance Cup is the finale of the long distance category of the British Champions Series, with £500,000 in the prize pot. The race regularly features the key 'cup' horses from the season, including the winner of the Ascot Gold Cup, and also occasionally features the winner of the St Leger at Doncaster.
What happened in the 2019 Champions Long Distance Cup?
Stradivarius arrived at Ascot as the undisputed king of the staying division, having scooped the inaugural £1 million Stayers' Bonus at York for the second year running two months' previous. He added the Doncaster Cup to his collection in September, and arrived at Ascot as a short-priced 13/8-on favourite for this, having won each of his five starts that term. It looked as though he was going to justify favouritism when hitting the front inside the final furlong, but he was just edged out in a tremendous scrap to the line by the Aidan O'Brien-trained Kew Gardens, who emerged a game winner, winning by a nose in a photo finish.
Established in 1873, the race began life at Newmarket as the Jockey Club Cup, and was originally contested over two and a half miles, and was switched a couple of times before settling on its current distance on 1963.
The race was switched onto Newmarket's Champions Day schedule in 2000, and remained there until being transferred to Ascot for the newly-formed Champions Day in 2011 - when it picked up its current title, and had its prize fund increased to £200,000. Since then, the race was upgraded to Group 2 status in 2014, and the prize pot now stands at £500,000.
Frankie Dettori has a good recent record in the race, winning it with Flying Officer in 2015 and Stradivarius in 2018.
Who is the most iconic winner of the Champions Long Distance Cup?
Several key names have won the race over the years, though the race has only been run under its current title since 2011.
Since the switch, Stradivarius obviously comes to mind, but a strong case can be made for the most iconic winner of the race being the Aidan O'Brien-trained Fame And Glory. Having won the Irish Derby as a three-year-old, Fame And Glory continued to shine throughout his career, and really came into his own in his five-year-old season, winning the Ascot Gold Cup at the Royal meeting. His victory in the Long Distance Cup proved to be the penultimate win of his career, but he signed off as a five-time Group 1 winner and is now a National Hunt stallion.
Are there any trials for the Champions Long Distance Cup?
The Champions Long Distance Cup is the finale of the long distance category of the British Champion Series, and as such the route to the race is pretty established. Every so often, key contenders will improve throughout the season through more unorthodox routes, but more often than not, contenders for the Champions Long Distance Cup tend to take their chance in races such as the Yorkshire Cup and the Lonsdale Cup at York, the Ascot Gold Cup at the Royal meeting, the Goodwood Cup and the Doncaster Cup.
Who is the most successful jockey in the Champions Long Distance Cup?
The winning most jockey in the history of the Champions Long Distance Cup is Sir Gordon Richards, with seven wins. Richards' seven wins in the race came courtesy of Brumeux (1930), Brulette (1932), Felicitation (1934), Foxglove II (1938), Shahpoor (1943) and Vicday(1948 & 1949).
Who is the most successful trainer in the Champions Long Distance Cup?
The winning most trainer in the history of the Champions Long Distance Cup is Barry Hills, with seven wins. Hills' seven wins in the race came courtesy of Further Flight (1991, 1992, 1993, 1994 & 1995), Rainbow High (1999) and Tastahil (2010).