Cheltenham Gold Cup
|Grade 1 race|
|Cheltenham Gold Cup|
|Distance||3m 2½f (5,331 metres)|
|Qualification||Five-years-old and up|
|Weight||11 st 9 lb (5yo);|
11 st 10 lb (6yo+)
7 lb for mares
The Cheltenham Gold Cup is a Grade 1 National Hunt chase in the United Kingdom which is open to horses aged five years or older. It is run on the New Course at Cheltenham over a distance of about 3 miles and 2½ furlongs (5,331 metres), and during its running there are twenty-two fences to be jumped. The race is scheduled to take place each year during the Cheltenham Festival in March.
It is the most prestigious of all National Hunt events, and it is sometimes referred to as the Blue Riband of jump racing. Its roll of honour features the names of such highly acclaimed chasers as Arkle, Golden Miller, Kauto Star and Mill House. The Gold Cup is at present the most valuable non-handicap chase in Britain, and in 2010 it offered a total prize fund of £475,000.
The first horse race known as the Cheltenham Gold Cup took place in July 1819. It was a flat race, and it was contested over 3 miles on Cleeve Hill, which overlooks the present venue. The inaugural winner, Spectre, won a prize of 100 guineas for his owner.
The Cheltenham Gold Cup was first run as a jumps race on March 12, 1924. A prize of £685 was awarded to the owner of the winning horse. The event originally took place on what is now the "Old Course" at Cheltenham. In its early years it was overshadowed at the Festival by another race, the National Hunt Chase.
The Gold Cup was abandoned in 1931 (because of frost) and 1937 (flooding), but the five intervening years saw the emergence of the most successful horse in the event's history. All five races from 1932 to 1936 were won by Golden Miller, who also won the Grand National in 1934.
During World War II the Gold Cup was cancelled twice, in 1943 and 1944. The first multiple winner of the post-war years was Cottage Rake, who won the three runnings from 1948 to 1950. Cottage Rake was trained in Ireland by Vincent O'Brien, and his successes helped to popularize the Gold Cup, and the Festival itself, with the Irish public.
The Gold Cup was switched to the "New Course" in 1959, and this is now the regular track used for the event. In the mid 1960s the race was dominated by Arkle, who won three consecutive runnings from 1964 to 1966. Such was Arkle's perceived superiority before the last of these victories that he was given a starting price of 1/10 (a £10 bet would have won £1). He remains the shortest-priced winner in the race's history.
The first commercial sponsorship of the race was by Piper Champagne, which began supporting the event in 1975. The Tote (now known as Totesport) became the sponsor in 1980.
The most remarkable feat in the Gold Cup by a trainer came in 1983, when Michael Dickinson was responsible for all of the first five horses to finish – Bregawn, Captain John, Wayward Lad, Silver Buck and Ashley House. The 1986 winner, Dawn Run, is the only horse to have ever won both this race and the leading hurdle event, the Champion Hurdle. One of the most popular horses to win the Gold Cup was Desert Orchid, a grey who won the event in 1989. The following year's running was won by Norton's Coin, whose starting price of 100/1 represents the race's longest ever winning price.
The entire Cheltenham Festival was cancelled in 2001 because of an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease. A replacement for the Cheltenham Gold Cup – the Gold Trophy Chase – was contested at Sandown in late April, but the Racing Post stated that this "lacked any strength in depth and was no substitute for the Gold Cup". The next three runnings were all won by Best Mate, who is the most recent of the four horses to have won the race three or more times.
In 2009, Kauto Star became the first horse to regain the Gold Cup. He overcame his stablemate and conqueror in 2008, Denman, who had recovered from a heart condition to take his place in the race. Timeform spokesperson Kieran Packman said of Kauto Star's performance, "it is the best Gold Cup-winning figure since the Arkle era in the mid-1960s". Kauto Star failed to regain the cup in 2010, falling four from home despite being odds-on favourite.
Most successful horse (5 wins):
- Golden Miller – 1932, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1936
Leading jockey (4 wins):
- Pat Taaffe – Arkle (1964, 1965, 1966), Fort Leney (1968)
Leading trainer (5 wins):
- Tom Dreaper – Prince Regent (1946), Arkle (1964, 1965, 1966), Fort Leney (1968)
Leading owner (7 wins):
- Dorothy Paget – Golden Miller (1932, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1936), Roman Hackle (1940), Mont Tremblant (1952)
- Amateur jockeys indicated by "Mr".
|1924||Red Splash||5||Dick Rees||Fred Withington||Humphrey Wyndham|
|1925||Ballinode||9||Ted Leader||Frank Morgan||Christopher Bentley|
|1926||Koko||8||Tim Hamey||Alfred Bickley||Frank Barbour|
|1927||Thrown In||11||Mr Hugh Grosvenor||Owen Anthony||Lord Henry Stalbridge|
|1928||Patron Saint||5||Dick Rees||Stanley Harrison||F. W. Keen|
|1929||Easter Hero||9||Dick Rees||Jack Anthony||John Hay Whitney|
|1930||Easter Hero||10||Tommy Cullinan||Jack Anthony||John Hay Whitney|
|no race 1931 |
|1932||Golden Miller||5||Ted Leader||Basil Briscoe||Dorothy Paget|
|1933||Golden Miller||6||Billy Stott||Basil Briscoe||Dorothy Paget|
|1934||Golden Miller||7||Gerry Wilson||Basil Briscoe||Dorothy Paget|
|1935||Golden Miller||8||Gerry Wilson||Basil Briscoe||Dorothy Paget|
|1936||Golden Miller||9||Evan Williams||Owen Anthony||Dorothy Paget|
|no race 1937 |
|1938||Morse Code||9||Danny Morgan||Ivor Anthony||Dealtry C. Part|
|1939||Brendan's Cottage||9||George Owen||George Beeby||Jean Smith-Bingham|
|1940||Roman Hackle||7||Evan Williams||Owen Anthony||Dorothy Paget|
|1941||Poet Prince||9||Roger Burford||Ivor Anthony||David Sherbrooke|
|1942||Medoc II||8||Frenchie Nicholson||Reg Hobbs||7th Earl of Sefton|
|no race 1943–44 |
|1945||Red Rower||11||Davy Jones||Lord Stalbridge||Lord Henry Stalbridge|
|1946||Prince Regent||11||Tim Hyde||Tom Dreaper||Jimmy Rank|
|1947||Fortina||6||Mr Richard Black||Hector Christie||3rd Baron Grimthorpe|
|1948||Cottage Rake||9||Aubrey Brabazon||Vincent O'Brien||Frank Vickerman|
|1949||Cottage Rake||10||Aubrey Brabazon||Vincent O'Brien||Frank Vickerman|
|1950||Cottage Rake||11||Aubrey Brabazon||Vincent O'Brien||Frank Vickerman|
|1951||Silver Fame||12||Martin Molony||George Beeby||1st Baron Bicester|
|1952||Mont Tremblant||6||Dave Dick||Fulke Walwyn||Dorothy Paget|
|1953||Knock Hard||9||Tim Molony||Vincent O'Brien||Moya Keogh|
|1954||Four Ten||8||Tommy Cusack||John Roberts||Alan Strange|
|1955||Gay Donald||9||Tony Grantham||Jim Ford||Philip Burt|
|1956||Limber Hill||9||Jimmy Power||Bill Dutton||James Davey|
|1957||Linwell||9||Michael Scudamore||Charlie Mallon||David Brown|
|1958||Kerstin||8||Stan Hayhurst||Verly Bewicke||George H. Moore|
|1959||Roddy Owen||10||Bobby Beasley||Danny Morgan||12th Earl of Fingall|
|1960||Pas Seul||7||Bill Rees||Bob Turnell||John Rogerson|
|1961||Saffron Tartan||10||Fred Winter||Don Butchers||Guy Westmacott|
|1962||Mandarin||11||Fred Winter||Fulke Walwyn||Peggy Hennessy|
|1963||Mill House||6||Willie Robinson||Fulke Walwyn||Bill Gollings|
|1964||Arkle||7||Pat Taaffe||Tom Dreaper||Duchess of Westminster|
|1965||Arkle||8||Pat Taaffe||Tom Dreaper||Duchess of Westminster|
|1966||Arkle||9||Pat Taaffe||Tom Dreaper||Duchess of Westminster|
|1967||Woodland Venture||7||Terry Biddlecombe||Fred Rimell||Harry Collins|
|1968||Fort Leney||10||Pat Taaffe||Tom Dreaper||John Thomson|
|1969||What a Myth||12||Paul Kelleway||Ryan Price||Lady Lucy Weir|
|1970||L'Escargot||7||Tommy Carberry||Dan Moore||Raymond R. Guest|
|1971||L'Escargot||8||Tommy Carberry||Dan Moore||Raymond R. Guest|
|1972||Glencaraig Lady||8||Frank Berry||Francis Flood||Patrick Doyle|
|1973||The Dikler||10||Ron Barry||Fulke Walwyn||Peggy August|
|1974||Captain Christy||7||Bobby Beasley||Pat Taaffe||Jane Samuel|
|1975||Ten Up||8||Tommy Carberry||Jim Dreaper||Duchess of Westminster|
|1976||Royal Frolic||7||John Burke||Fred Rimell||Sir Edward Hanmer|
|1977||Davy Lad||7||Dessie Hughes||Mick O'Toole||Anne-Marie McGowan|
|1978||Midnight Court||7||John Francome||Fred Winter||Olive Jackson|
|1979||Alverton||9||Jonjo O'Neill||Peter Easterby||Snailwell Stud Co.|
|1980||Master Smudge ||8||Richard Hoare||Arthur Barrow||Arthur Barrow|
|1981||Little Owl||7||Mr Jim Wilson||Peter Easterby||Robin & Jim Wilson|
|1982||Silver Buck||10||Robert Earnshaw||Michael Dickinson||Christine Feather|
|1983||Bregawn||9||Graham Bradley||Michael Dickinson||James Kennelly|
|1984||Burrough Hill Lad||8||Phil Tuck||Jenny Pitman||Stan Riley|
|1985||Forgive 'n Forget||8||Mark Dwyer||Jimmy FitzGerald||Tim Kilroe & Sons Ltd|
|1986||Dawn Run||8||Jonjo O'Neill||Paddy Mullins||Charmian Hill|
|1987||The Thinker||9||Ridley Lamb||Arthur Stephenson||Tom McDonagh|
|1988||Charter Party||10||Richard Dunwoody||David Nicholson||Smith / Mould|
|1989||Desert Orchid||10||Simon Sherwood||David Elsworth||Richard Burridge|
|1990||Norton's Coin||9||Graham McCourt||Sirrel Griffiths||Sirrel Griffiths|
|1991||Garrison Savannah||8||Mark Pitman||Jenny Pitman||Autofour Engineering|
|1992||Cool Ground||10||Adrian Maguire||Toby Balding||Whitcombe Manor Racing|
|1993||Jodami||8||Mark Dwyer||Peter Beaumont||John Yeadon|
|1994||The Fellow||9||Adam Kondrat||François Doumen||Marquesa de Moratalla|
|1995||Master Oats||9||Norman Williamson||Kim Bailey||Paul Matthews|
|1996||Imperial Call||7||Conor O'Dwyer||Fergie Sutherland||Lisselan Farms Ltd|
|1997||Mr Mulligan||9||Tony McCoy||Noel Chance||M. & G. Worcester|
|1998||Cool Dawn||10||Andrew Thornton||Robert Alner||Dido Harding|
|1999||See More Business||9||Mick Fitzgerald||Paul Nicholls||Barber / Keighley|
|2000||Looks Like Trouble||8||Richard Johnson||Noel Chance||Tim Collins|
|no race 2001 |
|2002||Best Mate||7||Jim Culloty||Henrietta Knight||Jim Lewis|
|2003||Best Mate||8||Jim Culloty||Henrietta Knight||Jim Lewis|
|2004||Best Mate||9||Jim Culloty||Henrietta Knight||Jim Lewis|
|2005||Kicking King||7||Barry Geraghty||Tom Taaffe||Conor Clarkson|
|2006||War Of Attrition||7||Conor O'Dwyer||Mouse Morris||Gigginstown House Stud|
|2007||Kauto Star||7||Ruby Walsh||Paul Nicholls||Clive D. Smith|
|2008||Denman||8||Sam Thomas||Paul Nicholls||Barber / Findlay|
|2009||Kauto Star||9||Ruby Walsh||Paul Nicholls||Clive D. Smith|
|2010||Imperial Commander||9||Paddy Brennan||Nigel Twiston-Davies||Our Friends in the North|
1 The race was abandoned in 1931 because of frost, and in 1937 because of flooding.
2 It was cancelled in 1943 and 1944 because of World War II.
3 Tied Cottage finished first in 1980, but he was subsequently disqualified after testing positive for a banned substance.
4 The 2001 running was cancelled due to a foot-and-mouth crisis.
- ↑ "Tote Gold Trophy Chase (2001)". racingpost.com. April 27, 2001. http://www.racingpost.com/horses/result_home.sd?race_id=299710&r_date=2001-04-27. Retrieved 2009-03-18.
- ↑ "Historic Gold Cup win for Kauto". bbc.co.uk. March 13, 2009. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/other_sports/horse_racing/7815679.stm. Retrieved 2009-03-18.
- ↑ Wood, Greg (March 15, 2009). "Kauto still not as good as Dessie, despite second Cup". London: guardian.co.uk. http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2009/mar/15/horseracing-cheltenham-kauto-star-gold-cup-desert-orchid. Retrieved 2009-03-18.
- ↑ BBC Sport report http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/other_sports/horse_racing/8456899.stm
- cheltenham.co.uk – Media information pack (2010).
- horseracinghistory.co.uk – Cheltenham Gold Cup.
- pedigreequery.com – Cheltenham Gold Cup – Cheltenham.
- tbheritage.com – Cheltenham Gold Cup.
- fansedge.co.uk – Cheltenham Gold Cup.