- Four-year-olds & upwards. One mile, one furlong & 192 yards. First run 1840 & originally the Chesterfield Cup.
The race came into existence in the same year as the Stewards’ Cup and was named after George Stanhope, the sixth Earl of Chesterfield. The Earl was a great racing man and a reckless gambler who won two Goodwood Cups with Priam (bought after his 1830 Derby victory).
The Chesterfield Cup was run at Glorious Goodwood up to 1969 but, when in 1970 the Festival was extended to five days to include the Saturday, the PTS Laurels Handicap (also over 10 furlongs but for older horses only) was introduced as a replacement and the Chesterfield Cup was moved to the August Meeting.
The Chesterfield Cup was switched back to the Saturday of the Festival in 1979 and four years later was renamed the William Hill Cup and moved to the first day of the meeting.
Now known as the bet365 Handicap, the 2010 renewal of this historic race saw the James Given-trained Indian Days sweep to victory prior to scoring in Group Three and Two company.
The 2003 winner, Imperial Dancer, won the Group One Premio Roma later that season. The 1998 second Yavana’s Pace made history four years later when, as a 10-year-old, he became the oldest winner of a Group One race in Europe with victory in the Credit Suisse Private Banking Pokal at Cologne.
Ian Balding, now retired, sent out six winners including the only dual scorer Mailman in 1984 and 1986, while Yavana’s Place’s trainer Mark Johnston gained his third victory in 10 runnings with Drumfire in 2009.
Only 15 of the 65 favourites since 1946 have won. The age breakdown of winners in the same time frame has been 3yo – 7; 4yo – 35; 5yo – 16; 6yo – 5; 7yo – 2.
Three horses have defied 10st, Pelorus in 1989, Fluellen in 1977 and Hail the Pirates in 1974, while three-year-old Criterion shouldered 9st 10lb in 1982.
Bet365 backs this race for the first time in 2011.