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Thursday , 23 November 2017
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Doncaster Cup and Flying Childers

Friday’s card at Doncaster has two Group 2 races, the Doncaster Cup and the Flying Childers Stakes.

The Flying Childers was called the Norfolk Stakes when first run in 1967 and kept that name until 1972. However, Royal Ascot pulled rank. They renamed the New Stakes in honour of the late Duke of Norfolk in 1973. Thus, the New Stakes became the Norfolk Stakes. That left Doncaster seeking a new name for their race. They named it after Flying Childers. Born in 1715, he was a son of the Darley Arabian. Though regarded as the first great racehorse, he only ran two races, both at Newmarket, beating just one rival each time.

However, there is a local link. He was bred by Leonard Childers at Carr House, near Doncaster. The Duke of Devonshire bought him. In April 1721 he won a match over four miles and in October 1722 he won a match over six miles. That’s all.  Talk about hype!

This year’s race looks like a match too, between Karl Burke’s Havana Grey and Clive Cox’s Heartache. There is little between them on a line through Deauville form with Unfortunately. Molecomb winner Havana Grey finished second to him in the Prix Morny. Heartache finished a close third to him in the Prix Robert Papin.

Doncaster Cup oldest of big three cups

First run in 1801, the Doncaster Cup is older than the Ascot Gold Cup and the Goodwood Cup. Many great stayers have won it, such as Brown Jack, Alycidon, Le Moss and three-time winner Double Trigger.

Chester Cup and Lonsdale Cup winner Montaly is the likely market leader. However, Desert Skyline finished third to St Leger favourite Stradivarius in the Goodwood Cup, with four of Friday’s rivals – She Is No Lady, Pallasator, Sheikhzayedroad and High Jinks – behind him.

Ascot Stakes winner Thomas Hobson finished behind Montaly in the Lonsdale. Clever Cookie has not won since landing last year’s Yorkshire Cup.

Rank outsider Fun Mac won a Listed race in France last time out and might be each-way value at 16/1 in the Doncaster Cup.

About Chris Pitt

Chris Pitt is a racing historian and freelance journalist. He has written three books including 'A Long Time Gone', chronicling Britain's lost racecourses, and 'Go Down to the Beaten', stories of jockeys who didn't win the Grand National. He founded the Midlands Racing Club and was formerly racing correspondent for BBC Radio WM.

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