The Weatherbys Hamilton
Stayers’ Million

The WH Stayers’ Million was an annual prize of £1million created by Weatherbys Hamilton to celebrate, support and promote the staying horse – an animal that has defined the European thoroughbred for the last three hundred years.

Won in both 2018 and 2019 by the magnificent Stradivarius, the prize was awarded to the connections of a horse that could win one of eight recognised prep races in the spring and then go on to win the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot in June, the Qatar Goodwood Cup at the Qatar Goodwood Festival in July and then the Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup at York’s Ebor Festival in August.

On his way to scooping the £1 Million prize in 2018, Bjorn Nielsen’s son of Sea The Stars achieved something remarkable and shone the brightest of lights on the merits of the Stayers with his courage, durability and will to win. In 2019 Stradivarius went on to prove himself as one of the really great Stayers of any era, winning the same sequence of four races on his way to scooping his second Million.

From the outset, our key objective was to celebrate, support and promote the staying horse – an animal that has defined the European thoroughbred for the last three hundred years. In 2018 and 2019 it resoundingly achieved all those objectives and captured the public attention in just the way that we hoped.

Building on the success of WHSM in 2019

In the first year the qualifying races were confined to the UK and Ireland, but in 2019 the Weatherbys Hamilton Stayers' Million was enhanced with the introduction of four additional qualifying races in Dubai, Germany, France and Ireland to supplement the four British qualifiers which remained as they were in 2018.

Consequently, the WHSM was to be awarded to the connections of a horse that first won one or more of eight elite staying races staged between March and May:

  • Dubai Gold Cup sponsored by Al Tayer Motors (Dubai) – March 30th (Winner: Cross Counter)
  • Vintage Crop Stakes (Navan) – April 28th (Winner: Master of Reality)
  • Longines Sagaro Stakes (Ascot) – May 1st (Winner: Dee Ex Bee)
  • Boodles Diamond Ormonde Stakes (Chester) – May 9th (Winner: Morando)
  • Comer Group International Oleander-Rennen (Berlin-Hoppegarten) – May 12th (Winner: Raa Atoll)
  • Yorkshire Cup (York) – May 17th (Winner: Stradivarius)
  • Matchbook Henry II Stakes (Sandown Park) – May 23rd (Winner: Dee Ex Bee)
  • Prix Vicomtesse Vigier (ParisLongchamp) – May 26th (Winner: Called To The Bar)

If one of these horses could then go on, as Stradivarius had done so memorably in 2018, to win the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot (June 20th), the Qatar Goodwood Cup at the Qatar Goodwood Festival (July 30th) and the Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup at York’s Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival (August 23rd), its connections would win the £1 million prize. As history now relates, Stradivarius repeated the feat in 2019 and won his second Stayers' Million with another magnificent sequence of wins.

In both years the £1 million was split between Stradivarius' connections, with 70% awarded to the owner Bjorn Nielsen and 30% divided equally between the trainer John Gosden, the Clarehaven stable staff, Bjorn Nielsen who was also the colt’s breeder, and Frankie Dettori his jockey.