Cheltenham Gold Cup Overview

The Cheltenham Gold Cup is a Grade 1 chase over run over 3m2f and 22 fences on Cheltenham's New Course. It is Britain's premier weight-for-age jumps race, as well as the most valuable non-handicap, and its roll of honour features many of the all-time greats of the sport, among them Golden Miller, Arkle, Best Mate, Desert Orchid and Kauto Star.

It was traditionally run on the Thursday when Cheltenham staged a three-day Festival, but in the new four-day Festival it has become the Friday centrepiece. Its first sponsor was Piper Champagne in 1975, but since 1980 it has been sponsored by the Tote. It is branded the Totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup.

The 2010 race was won by Imperial Commander.

Cheltenham Gold Cup History

Kauto Star winning the 2009 Cheltenham Gold CupThe first Cheltenham Gold Cup was a Flat race run over 3m on Cleeve Hill in 1819. The race was first run in its current form in 1924, when Red Splash took a first prize of £685, but in those days it did not enjoy its current prestige and was overshadowed by the National Hunt Chase.

Golden Miller is the most successful horse in Gold Cup history, with five consecutive wins (1932-36). Cottage Rake (1948-50), Arkle (1964-66) and Best Mate (2002-04) all won three Gold Cups, while dual winners include L'Escargot (1970 & '71) and Kauto Star (2007 & '09). Arkle beat his great rival Mill House (1963) in both of his first two Gold Cups and is widely recognised as the greatest chaser ever.

Cheltenham Racecourse

Cheltenham Racecourse
Cheltenham is the home of championship jump racing in Britain, primarily due to the illustrious Cheltenham Festival held in March, which is the highlight of the English jumps racing calendar. Next to the Old Course and the New Course which make up the main jumps track there is also cross-country course at Cheltenham which is used for cross-country steeplechases.

Nottingham Hill was the host to Cheltenham's first organised horse racing meeting in 1815. In 1831 the racecourse had to be moved to Prestbury Park, the current venue, after the Nottingham grand stand burned down. Jump racing started at the course in 1898 and today Cheltenham exclusively hosts jump racing, its most prestigious race being the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Gold Cup Trainers

Trainer Jim DreaperTom Dreaper is the most sucessful Gold Cup trainer with five wins, from Prince Regent (1946), Arkle (1964-66) and Fort Leney (1968); his son Jim won the race with Ten Up (1975). Basil Briscoe won four Gold Cups with Golden Miller (1932-35) and Paul Nicholls has won four with three different horses, See More Business (1999), Kauto Star (2007 and '09) and Denman (2008).

Those with three wins include Vincent O'Brien, with Cottage Rake (1948-50), Fulke Walwyn, with Mandarin (1962), Mill House (1963) and The Dikler (1973), and Henrietta Knight, with Best Mate (2002-04). Michael Dickinson won only two Gold Cups, with Silver Buck (1982) and Bregawn (1983), yet is responsible for arguably the greatest training feat in the race's history, having saddled the fist five finishers in 1983.

Gold Cup Owners & Jockeys

Dorothy Paget is the most successful owner in the race with seven wins from three different horses, Golden Miller (1932-36). Roman Hackle (1940) and Mont Tremblant (1952). More recently Anne, Duchess of Westminster won four Gold Cups, with Arkle (1964-66) and Ten Up (1975), while Jim Lewis won three with Best Mate (2002-04)

Out of the jockeys Pat Taaffe won four Gold Cups, including three on Arkle, while Dick Rees, Aubrey Brabazon, Tommy Carberry and Jim Culloty have all won the race three times.

Gold Cup News

As we don't offer current news covereage of the Cheltenham Gold Cup we suggest you keep an eye on the horse racing news offered by the Racing Post and also keep an eye on their horse racing tips - you might be able to see a Gold Cup tip featured as one of their daily free tips.

Gold Cup Facts

  • Arkle was the shortest-priced winner at 1-10 when winning his third Gold Cup in 1966.
  • Norton's Coin was the longest-priced winner at 100-1 in 1990.
  • The biggest field is 22, in 1982 and 2006.
  • No five-year-old has won since Golden Miller (1932).
  • No six-year-old has won since Mill House (1963).
  • Desert Orchid (1989) was the last grey winner.
  • Master Smudge (1980) was awarded trhe race some time later after runaway winner Tied Cottage was disqualified on a technicality.
  • Fred Winter is the only man to have both ridden and trained the winner, having been successful on Saffron Tartan (1961) and Mandarin (1962) and with Midnight Court (1978).
  • Dawn Run (1986) is the only horse to have won both the Gold Cup and the Champion Hurdle.
  • Tony McCoy was the 11th, and most recent, jockey to win the Gold Cup and the Champion Hurdle in the same year (1997), with Mr Mulligan and Make A Stand.
  • Kim Bailey and Norman Williamson were the last trainer/jockey partnership to win the Gold Cup and the Champion Hurdle in the same year (1995), with Master Oats and Alderbrook.
  • Kauto Star (2007 & '09) was the first horse to regain the Gold Cup after losing it.
  • There was no race in 1931 (frost), 1937 (flooding) , 1943 and 1944 (war) and 2001 (foot and mouth).
  • In 1978 the Gold Cup was run at Cheltenham's April meeting after snow forced its abandonment in March.

With Thanks to Paolo Camera for the header image: