There is no more famous a race at Royal Ascot than the Gold Cup, a contest packed with history and prestige.

The Gold Cup is the centrepiece of Royal Ascot week and is the world’s top race for distance horses. This Group 1 horse race is run over a marathon trip of just shy of two miles and four furlongs.

First staged in 1807, the inaugural winner, Master Jackey, was a three-year-old who under today’s rules wouldn’t qualify to run. Nowadays the rules stipulate that horses must be four or older to enter.

The race has provided some of the Royal meeting’s greatest moments. In 2013 Her Majesty The Queen’s filly Estimate won and there was public joy around the world on the back of the pictures and footage of her beaming smile.

Yeats won this race four years on the trot (2006-2009) which made him the most successful horse in the history of the race. He always featured annually in any Royal Ascot tips.

Between the years 1957 and 1982, Lester Piggott won the race an incredible 11 times. These are the top three fastest run Ascot Gold Cup’s over the last 20 years are:

  • 2010 - Rite Of Passage (4:16.92)

  • 2005 - Westerner (4:19.49)

  • 2003 - Mr Dinos (4:20.15)

Ascot Gold Cup Winners

  • 2021 - Subjectivist 13/2 Joe Fanning/Mark Johnston

  • 2020 - Stradivarius 4/5 f Frankie Dettori/John Gosden

  • 2019 - Stradivarius Evs f Frankie Dettori/John Gosden

  • 2018 - Stradivarius 1/4 f Frankie Dettori/John Gosden

  • 2017 - Big Orange 5/1 James Doyle/Michael Bell

  • 2016 - Order Of St George 10/11 f Ryan Moore/A P O'Brien

  • 2015 - Trip To Paris 12/1 Graham Lee/Ed Dunlop

  • 2014 - Leading Light 10/11 f Joseph O'Brien/A P O'Brien

  • 2013 - Estimate 7/2 f Ryan Moore/Sir Michael Stoute

  • 2012 - Colour Vision 6/1 Frankie Dettori/Saeed bin Suroor

  • Age: 10/10 winners were aged between 4 and 6 years old.

  • Price: 7/10 winners have been the favourite/joint favourite, 9/10 winners came from the top three in the horse race bets online.

  • Last Time: 9/10 winners won on their last run before Ascot, 10/10 winners had their last run within 50 days.

  • Course Form: 9/10 winners had at least one previous run at Ascot, 7/10 winners had at least one previous win at Ascot.

  • Distance Form: 10/10 winners had at least one previous run over 2 miles or further, 8/10 winners had at least two previous runs over 2 miles or further, 10/10 winners had at least one previous win over two miles or further.

  • Flat Form: 10/10 winners had at least 8 previous flat runs, 10/10 winners had at least 5 previous flat wins.

  • Rating: 9/10 winners had a rating of 117 or higher.

  • Group Wins: 7/10 winners had at least one win in a Group 1 race, 10/10 winners had at least one win in a Group 1-3 race.

  • Season Form: 10/10 winners had at least one run that season, 10/10 winners had at least one win that season.

Ascot Gold Cup Statistics

  • 19 of the last 20 winners had run no more than twice that season.

  • 18 were sent off no bigger than 6/1 last time out.

  • Just two horses older than six have won in 20 years.

  • 19 of the last 20 winners had four or more previous career wins.

  • 20 / 20 - No bigger than 20/1.

  • 19 / 20 - At least 4 career wins.

  • 19 / 20 - No more than 2 season runs.

  • 19 / 20 - Previously won over 14f+.

  • 18 / 20 - No bigger than 6/1 last time out.

Ascot Gold Cup Trainers

The leading trainer in the Ascot Gold Cup over the last 20 years is Aidan O'Brien who has taken the race a total of seven times.

The seven winners Yeats (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009), Fame And Glory (2011), Leading Light (2014) and Order Of St George (2016).

Other trainers with multiple win in the Ascot Gold Cup are John Gosden (3 wins), Saeed bin Suroor (2 wins) and Mark Johnston (2 wins).

On the training cold list is Andrew Balding who has saddled seven runners in this race without any success.

Ascot Gold Cup Jockeys

The top jockey in the Ascot Gold Cup over the last 20 years is Frankie Dettori who has picked up the silverware five times.

Those five winners were Papineau (2004), Colour Vision (2012), Stradivarius (2018, 2019, 2020) The only other jockey to have recorded multiple wins in the is Ryan Moore (2 wins).

Surprisingly, William Buick has had a total of eleven mounts in race without recording any wins.

Ascot Gold Cup Trial Races

Several of the seasonal long distance races give the odd pointer to this feature but in the main the Group Three Sagaro Stakes is the main key trial for the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot.

Ascot Gold Cup Starting Prices

A careful study of the Royal Ascot results over the last 20 years flags up the biggest priced winner as being Rite Of Passage (20/1) in 2010 when winning for Dermot Weld and Pat Smullen.

At the more fancied end of the market and over the same time span, there have been a total of 11 winning favourites in the race.


Steven is a sports and horse racing enthusiast and is a member of the Horseracing Writers and Photographers Association (HWPA) in the United Kingdom.

He is a regular visitor to Paris Longchamp for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and a lifelong fan of the Aintree Grand National, a subject he writes about 52 weeks of the year. Last year he reached the impressive milestone of attending the last 30 renewals of the Grand National.