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Long Distance Cup - 18th October, 2014

Aidan O'Brien's Leading Light was a fine winner of the Ascot Gold Cup at the Royal meeting and the Ballydoyle stayer will return to the same venue on Saturday afternoon, as he bids for more marathon glory in the Long Distance Cup, which kicks off a marvellous British Champions Day card.

He was last seen finishing second in the Irish St Leger having been given far too much to do when way behind Brown Panther, but he oozes class and with a return to the Berkshire venue likely to suit he sets the standard for this 2m contest.

Sir Michael Stoute's Estimate was just touched off by the aforementioned Leading Light in the Gold Cup, but success in the Doncaster Cup last time out showed The Queen's mare still can produce the goods at the highest level and she will aim to sparkle at the weekend.

Forgotten Rules was last seen winning at the Galway Festival and Dermot Weld's raider is still very lightly-raced and could be a factor if improving, whilst Sir Mark Prescott's Pallasator finally got his head in front last time out in Listed company and will now attempt to step up in class.

John Gosden's Marzocco is an dour stayer and will relish the soft conditions that are likely to hit Ascot and could be an each-way player, whilst the likes of Whiplash Willie, Flying Officer and Big Orange add more depth to what should be a terrific curtain-raiser.

Latest Betting for 2014 Long Distance Cup

9/4 Leading Light

3/1 Forgotten Rules

11/2 Estimate

8/1 Pallasator

10/1 Big Orange

10/1 Whiplash Willie

10/1 Flying Officer

14/1 Marzocco

25/1 Biographer

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Long Distance Cup History

The Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup is a Group Three race run at Ascot on British Champions Day over two miles for horses aged three years or older.

Established in 1873, the Long Distance Cup was formely known as the Jockey Club Cup, but a reconstruction of the racing calendar has seen it move from its previous venue of Newmarket to Ascot to become an integral part of the multi-million pound British Champions Day.

Since its inception the stamina test has attracted some of the great dour stayers and a name synonymous with this contest is Further Flight, who managed to win the race a staggering five years running between 1991 and 1995.  Persian Punch was another runner, who loved competing in the race, winning it three times, with his win in 2003 being the most remarkable at the tender age of 10.

Barry Hills, trainer of Further Flight, has the greatest training record in the race saddling the winner seven times, whilst Sir Gordon Richards also notched up seven winners during his illustrious riding career.

With £200,000 in the pot for the Long Distance Cup in 2011, it's bound to attract a star-studded field and may even attract some of Europe's best stayers.

Recent Winners of Long Distance Cup (formerly known as Jockey Club Cup)

  • 2000 - Persian Punch
  • 2001 - Capal Garmon
  • 2002 - Persian Punch
  • 2003 - Persian Punch
  • 2004 - Millenary
  • 2005 - Cover Up
  • 2006 - Hawridge Prince
  • 2007 - Royal and Regal
  • 2008 - Veracity
  • 2009 - Akmal
  • 2010 - Tastahil
  • 2011 - Fame and Glory
  • 2012 - Rite Of Passage
  • 2013 - Royal Diamond