- Two-year-olds only. Five furlongs. First run 1829 (Note: two-year-old fillies only 1932–80).
The Molecomb Stakes is named after part of the Goodwood Estate and for the greater period of the last century it was restricted to fillies.
The Maktoum family celebrated a first Group-race victory when Hatta won the 1977 renewal for Arundel trainer John Dunlop, while the brilliant Marwell won the last fillies-only race in 1980. The fairer sex continues to hold its own however, with 14 fillies successful since 1981, including Hoh Magic who added the Group One Prix Morny in 1994 to her score and Carmine Lake, victorious in 1996 before defeating the best sprinters in Europe when winning the 1997 Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp.
Enticing triumphed in 2006 and returned to the Glorious Goodwood winner’s enclosure in the 2008 Audi (King George) Stakes, while another speedy filly, Fleeting Spirit, won in 2007 and then took the following season’s renewal of the Group Two Temple Stakes at Haydock in a course record time.
Fillies have not had it all their own way and high-class colts to have triumphed include Precocious, who prevailed in 1983 and went on to win the Group Two Gimcrack Stakes in an unbeaten campaign. In 2005, this race began a marvellous sequence at Glorious Goodwood for Yorkshire-based trainer David Nicholls. Following Strike Up The Band’s impressive performance, the trainer also claimed victories in the Audi Stakes with Fire Up The Band and in the bluesquare.com Stewards’ Cup with Gift Horse during the week.
Finjaan won the 2008 Molecomb Stakes and ended the season as one of the leading two-year-old colts after going down by two noses when third to Intense Focus in an extremely close finish to the Group One Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket.
Irish-trained horses have been successful six times, with the latest successful raider being the David Wachman-trained Requinto in 2011.
Half of the 66 runnings since 1946 have gone to the market leader, including in 2010 when the Richard Hannon-trained Zebedee won at 2–1. The shortest priced favourite was 1–8 chance Diableretta in 1949. At
the other end of the odds’ spectrum, Hotbee won at 100–1 in 1985.
Zebedee gave Hannon and Richard Hughes a second successive victory following Monsieur Chevalier’s triumph in 2009.
The incomparable Lester Piggott gained eight victories in the Molecomb Stakes during his brilliant riding career – the first in 1957 on Abelia and the final one with Precocious in 1983.
A French success came through Palariva who was awarded the spoils by the stewards after finishing a head second in 1955.
Bet365 sponsored for the first time in 2011.