The Magnolia Cup presented by Markel raises a record £230,000 for Smart Works

Horse Racing | Press Article 17/04/24

It has been revealed that the 2021 running of the prestigious Magnolia Cup sponsored for the first time by insurance company Markel has raised a phenomenal £230,000 for UK charity Smart Works.

This marks a new fundraising milestone for the annual charity race conceived a decade ago and run on Ladies’ Day at the Qatar Goodwood Festival in July. The first dead heat in the history of the race was achieved when Candida Crawford and Thea Gosden-Hood galloped to glory, with the judge unable to split the pair at the finish.     

This year’s total means the race has now raised over £1.8 million for charitable causes since its inception. Goodwood is indebted to the title sponsor Markel, alongside all the brave, courageous women riding, Bella Freud - who designed the silks, the horse sponsors, trainers, and owners who have supported the race.

Smart Works assist unemployed women in harnessing their confidence ahead of a job interview, providing high-quality interview clothes and training, meaning women are equipped with the practical tools needed to help them get a job and subsequently transform their lives and, often, those of their families.

Kate Stephens, CEO of Smart Works, commented; “It was an honour to partner with Goodwood Racecourse for their renowned charity event, the Magnolia Cup presented by Markel. We’re thrilled that this partnership has raised a record-breaking £230,000 to support unemployed women at a time when this could not be more needed or relevant. 

“We are truly grateful to Goodwood, The Duke and Duchess of Richmond, and the sponsors, trainers, and owners who made this possible. Not to mention the jockeys whose dedication, resilience, and determination were inspirational to all of us. This incredible result will help us help over 5,000 women this year, transforming the lives of women and the families they support. Thank you from everyone in the Smart Works community.”

Simon Wilson, president of Markel International commented; “We are so proud to be a part of the Magnolia Cup presented by Markel. The support that Smart Works give to women across the UK is critical. We are thrilled that we have been able to play a part in providing important funds so their work can continue”

It has been confirmed that the eleventh Magnolia Cup presented by Markel will once again take place on Ladies’ Day at the Qatar Goodwood Festival in 2022, which falls on Thursday, 28 July.