The Racing Post Trophy Stakes, a Group One contest run over a straight mile and open to two-year-old colts and fillies, is staged annually at Doncaster Racecourse, where it is the feature race on the second day of the two-day October Meeting.
Inaugurated by Phil Bull, the founder of Timeform, in 1961, the race was originally run as the Timeform Gold Cup, and subsequently as the Observer Gold Cup and the William Hill Futurity Stakes, before being renamed the Racing Post Trophy Stakes in 1989. As the Observer Gold Cup, the race was awarded Group One status when the European Pattern race system was introduced in 1971 and is, in fact, the final Group One race of the season.
With prize money well in excess of £200,000, the Racing Post Trophy Stakes offers an opportunity for high-class, but late-maturing, juveniles to win a valuable prize and earn themselves some “black type” at the highest level. Furthermore, the combination of a mile and, often, rain-softened ground, provides quite a test of stamina for juveniles and the result of the Racing Post Trophy Stakes often has a bearing on the following season’s Derby.
All in all, five horses – Reference Point, Authorized, Motivator, High Chaparral and Camelot – have completed the Racing Post Stakes/Derby double. In fact, Camelot, winner of the Racing Post Trophy Stakes in 2011, not only won the Derby in 2012, but also the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket and went close to becoming the first horse since Nijinksy in 1970 to complete the “English Triple Crown” when finishing second to Encke in the St. Leger at Doncaster.
The late Sir Henry Cecil, trainer of Reference Point, is the most successful trainer in the history of the Racing Post Trophy Stakes, having saddled ten winners between 1969 and 1993.