Friday 15 March 2024

Vertem Futurity Trophy

Inaugurated, as the Timeform Gold Cup, in 1961, the Vertem Futurity Trophy has been known as the Observer Gold Cup, Futurity Stakes and the Racing Post Trophy at various points in its history. However, following the introduction of the European Pattern in 1971, the race was awarded Group 1 status and has maintained that status ever since.

Run over a mile on Town Moor, Doncaster, the Vertem Futurity Trophy is open to two-year-old colts and fillies and its scheduling, in late October, makes it the final Group 1 event in the British Flat racing calendar. In 2019, with Doncaster abandoned due to waterlogging, the Vertem Futurity Trophy was run at Newcastle, thereby becoming the first Group 1 race in Britain to be run on a synthetic surface.

Lester Piggott and Pat Eddery remain the leading jockeys in the history of the Vertem Futurity Trophy with five wins apiece, while Sir Henry Cecil remains far and away the leading trainer with ten wins between 1969 and 1993. The race is considered a trial for the Derby the following season and five winners, namely Reference Point (1986), High Chaparral (2001), Motivator (2004), Authorized (2006) and Camelot (2011) have gone on to win the Epsom Classic. Aside from the subsequent Derby winners, other notable winners of the Vertem Futurity Trophy include Saxon Warrior (2017), Magna Grecia (2018) and Kameko (2019), who all won the 2,000 Guineas the following season.