The Gold Cup is one of the world’s premier events for true stayers, going two and a half miles over the grass. First run in 1807, the race is the oldest of the Royal Ascot meet. It has been run at Ascot through the vast majority of its history, though it moved to Newmarket during wartime periods (1917-18, 1941-44), and was run at York in 2005. It is the traditional feature race of the third day of the meet, Ladies’ Day.
The local prep race, the Sagaro Stakes (G3), is named after a dominant Gold Cup performer. Sagaro won three times, 1975 through 1977, becoming the first horse in the race’s history to win three times. That record has since been surpassed by Yeats. The son of Sadler’s Wells marked himself as one of the best stayers of all time by winning four consecutive editions of the race, 2006 through 2009.