Prestigious Magnolia Cup to be run in support of UK charity Smart Works and collaborate with iconic fashion designer Bella Freud as riders are announced

Horse Racing | Press Article 17/04/24

Prestigious Magnolia Cup to be run in support of UK charity Smart Works and collaborate with iconic fashion designer Bella Freud as riders are announced

The much-anticipated Magnolia Cup presented by Markel will celebrate its tenth anniversary this year.

Run at the Qatar Goodwood Festival, (known affectionately as ‘Glorious Goodwood’), on Ladies’ Day, 29 July 2021, the philanthropic event has gone from strength to strength. A decade ago, the race was conceived to overcome the boundaries and diversity within sport and, more specifically, horseracing, creating an inclusive community in support of women, their ability, and well-being.

This year, the Magnolia Cup presented by Markel will support UK charity Smart Works, which assists unemployed women to harness their confidence ahead of a job interview. By providing high-quality interview clothes and training, women are equipped with the practical tools needed to help them get the job and transform their lives and, often, those of their families.

Kate Stephens, Smart Works CEO, commented; “Smart Works and Goodwood share a mission to support and empower women across the UK. That is why we’re honoured to have been chosen as the 2021 Magnolia Cup charity partner.

“In the last year the number of women facing unemployment has risen sharply and Smart Works has never been more needed. Funding for our service will help women across the UK find the confidence to succeed at a crucial moment, get the job and transform their lives.

“We’re grateful to Goodwood and The Duke of Richmond for giving us this opportunity and enabling us to reach more women with our service.”

British fashion designer, Bella Freud will be exclusively designing the jockey silks which feature some of her signature designs such as LION, Ciao, Love is the Drug and King of Kings. Bella Freud, known for her upmarket irreverence, has created a collection which is a statement of her creative and idiosyncratic approach, which has been the hallmark of her success.

Since its inception, the Magnolia Cup has raised over £1.6 million and in 2019, the last renewal of the race, it captured the eyes of the world when Khadijah Mellah galloped to glory up Goodwood’s home straight. The 18-year-old, Mellah won in spectacular style just months after sitting on a horse for the first time at the Ebony Horse Club, a club that aims to transform young lives through horses in south London’s most disadvantaged communities.

This year’s inspiring riders set to engage in the five-and-a-half-furlongs contest down Goodwood’s straight, include;

Scarlett Gartmann Reus – Influencer and Dressage Rider

Ella Dettori – Student and event rider

Isabel Spearman – Brand Consultant and Smart Works Ambassador

Rachel Stringer - Sports Presenter and Reporter

Callie Coles - Writer, Mother and Wife

Candida Crawford - Equestrian Trainer and Freelance Rider

Caroline Miller - Property Consultant UK and France

Fiona Litchfield - Royal Military Police, Soldier, Cyber Crime Expert and Operations Manager at the Met Police

Goose Leigh – Advertising Executive at Tatler specialising in Country Pursuits

Lady Tatiana Mountbatten – British Dressage Rider

Octavia Pollock - Chief sub-editor of Country Life magazine

Thea Gosden – Hood - Co-Founder at Indigo and Ivy Events

Tickets, dining and hospitality are now on sale for the Qatar Goodwood Festival, visit or call 01243 755055 to find out more.


Editor’s Notes:

Official hashtags: #MagnoliaCupbyMarkel #Smartworks #QGF #GoodwoodRaces

Photo Credit: Dan Stevens

To follow the riders as they train for the Magnolia Cup presented by Markel, including facing an assessment at the British Racing School, please visit Goodwood Racecourse’s social media channels.




 About the Qatar Goodwood Festival:

The Qatar Goodwood Festival is one of the undisputed highlights of the British flat racing season.

Steeped in racing heritage, the first public race meeting took place at Goodwood Racecourse in 1802, and over the decades, the meeting has attracted the very best equine athletes from the UK and around the world.

Affectionately known as ‘Glorious Goodwood’, the world-famous five-day festival is a sporting and social occasion like no other, unrivalled style, superb racing, and hospitality experiences to savour mean it’s not to be missed.

The 2021 event takes place from Tuesday 27 July to Saturday 31 July, and Qatar continues its generous title sponsorship. The week is headed by three Group 1 races, including the £500,000 Qatar Goodwood Cup, the £1 million Qatar Sussex Stakes, and the £600,000 Qatar Nassau Stakes.

Tickets, dining, and hospitality are now on sale for the Qatar Goodwood Festival. Visit or call 01243 755055 to find out more.


About the Magnolia Cup presented by Markel

 On Ladies’ Day, Thursday 29 July, twelve dedicated amateur jockeys undertake months of intensive training to ride in the Magnolia Cup presented by Markel.  Most have never set foot in a racing yard before their training begins. It requires total commitment to achieve success, a zealous pursuit of excellence, and sheer hard work to win.

Previous jockeys have included doctors, Olympians, CEOs, journalists, students, models, and presenters, among them Edie Campbell, Sara Cox, Rosie Tapner, and Vogue Williams.

In the tradition of the race and its values, Goodwood also selects a well-known female-led fashion brand to create a collection of bespoke silks for the jockeys to wear, and in the past has welcomed Morvarid Sahafi, Hermes, Kate Moss, Liberty, Mulberry, Mary Katrantzou and Vivienne Westwood to the Magnolia Cup team. This year’s beautiful designs have been curated by iconic British designer Bella Freud.

Fundraising takes place through race and horse sponsorship, as well as at the Regency Ball, a stunning Regency-themed evening held at Goodwood House after the Magnolia Cup.

All the riders’ fundraising pages for 2021 can be found at

About Smart Works

Created in September 2013, Smart Works exists to help unemployed women regain the confidence they need to succeed at interview, get the job and transform their lives. Half of Smart Works’ clients are from an ethnic minority, long-term unemployed and have been unsuccessful with a large number of job applications.

Thanks to the charity’s support, over 60% go on to get a job following their visit to Smart Works. As well as providing complete outfits of high-quality clothes for job interviews, beneficiaries also have access to one-to-one interview training and the opportunity to join Smart Works Network, meeting every month to further their professional and personal development. The impact of the pandemic on female unemployment means that the charity will be more needed than ever before and aims to help more than 5000 women in the year ahead.

About Markel

Markel International is a division of Markel Corporation, a US-based holding company trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: MKL). Markel International writes insurance and reinsurance business through six divisions and through offices across the UK, Europe, Canada and Asia Pacific. Markel International’s insuring entities include Syndicate 3000, Markel International Insurance Company Limited and Markel Insurance SE.

Its UK national markets business also provides legal and professional fees insurance cover as well as legal and tax consultancy services. For more information, please visit us at


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Lucy Snell Goodwood Press Office: 01243 755 000,