The Cheltenham Gold Cup is the blue riband event of National Hunt racing. Not only is it the feature race of the fourth day at Cheltenham, it is the feature race of the whole festival and the most prestigious race in the jumps calendar. The race provides an incredibly demanding test for thoroughbreds and provides all the excitement and drama that the Cheltenham Festival is acclaimed for. The Gold Cup is a Grade 1 Chase for horses aged fiver years and older. Run over an approximate distance of 3 miles 2 1/2 furlongs, there is a total of 22 fences to be jumped.
Lord Windermere creates a 20/1 shock in 2014
There is an incredibly rich history to the Cheltenham Gold Cup. The first instance of the race was run in 1819, where it was a 3 mile flat race on Cleeve Hill. It wasn’t until 1924 that it became a jumps race. A deeper look at the roll of honour shows some incredible horses and fantastic achievements. Golden Miller won the race a remarkable five times in-a-row from 1932-1936 and remains in the history books as the most successful horse. Irish trainer Vincent O’Brien won the race three times in-a-row with Cottage Rake between 1948-1950, an achievement that is largely accredited as helping to raise the profile of the festival in Ireland. The legendary Arkle also won the race three times in-a-row between 1964-1966. In the last of his three successes Arkle was sent off at a staggering 1/10, the shortest starting price in the history of the race. Trainer Michael Dickinson achieved a brilliant feat by training all of the first five home in the 1983 Gold Cup. Dawn Run is another in the record books, with the mare having won the Gold Cup in 1986 as well as winning the Champion Hurdle two years prior. She is the only horse in history to have pulled off that unique double.
In more recent times Best Mate notched up a hat-trick of victories between 2002-2004 for trainer Henrietta Knight. The legendary Kauto Star became the first horse ever to regain the Gold Cup having won the race in 2007 and 2009, finishing second in 2008 behind popular stablemate Denman. Kauto Star won an incredible 16 Grade 1 races in total, including five King George VI Chases, and played a key part in raising the profile of jump racing to the public. Long Run looked a superstar in the making when winning the race in 2011 but has failed to recapture the race in two subsequent attempts, further highlighting how good Kauto Star was. The most recent winner was the Nicky Henderson trained Bobs Worth who has a perfect record at Cheltenham, winning the Neptune Investment Hurdle, RSA Chase and Cheltenham Gold Cup.
- Grade 1 winners have won the last 14 renewals
- 8 of the last 10 winners have won on their previous start
- 10 of the last 13 winners have won or finished second at the Cheltenham Festival before
- The last 13 winners featured in the first 3 in the betting
- No horse older than ten has won the Gold Cup since 1969
- Only one of the last 13 winners had an official rating below 166
- Just one of the last 15 winners had failed to record a victory earlier in the season
- Only one horse in the last 20 years has won the race off the back of just one start earlier in the season
Roll Of Honour
||War Of Attrition
||M Morris (Ire)