The Imperial Cup is a Listed National Hunt hurdle race in Great Britain which is open to horses aged four years or older. It is run at Sandown Park over a distance of about 2 miles and 110 yards (3,319 metres), and during its running there are eight hurdles to be jumped. It is a handicap race, and it is scheduled to take place each year in March.
The Imperial Cup was first run in 1907, and in its early years it was considered to be the most important hurdle race of the season. A notable winner during this period was Trespasser, who recorded three successive victories in the race from 1920 to 1922. It continued to be the most prestigious hurdling event until the launch of the Champion Hurdle in 1927.
The race is presently run on a Saturday in March, three days before the start of the Cheltenham Festival. The sponsors of the Imperial Cup have traditionally offered a financial bonus prize to the winner, and this is awarded if the horse goes on to win any race at the following week's Festival. Winners of this bonus have included Olympian (who won the Coral Cup at Cheltenham), Blowing Wind (County Hurdle) and Gaspara (Fred Winter Hurdle). The Imperial Cup is currently sponsored by the bookmaker Paddy Power.
Winners since 1980
- Weights given in stones and pounds; Amateur jockeys indicated by "Mr".
|1980||Prayukta||5||11-00||John Francome||Fred Winter|
|1981||Ekbalco||5||11-03||David Goulding||Roger Fisher|
|1982||Holemoor Star||5||11-07||Martin O'Halloran||Miss S. Morris|
|1983||Desert Hero||9||09-08||R. Chapman||Fulke Walwyn|
|1984||Dalbury||6||09-12||P. Corrigan||P. Haynes|
|1985||Floyd||5||10-03||Colin Brown||David Elsworth|
|1986||Insular||6||09-10||Eamon Murphy||Ian Balding|
|1987||Inlander||6||10-03||Steve Smith Eccles||Reg Akehurst|
|1988||Sprowston Boy||5||10-11||S. McCrystal||Paul Kelleway|
|1989||Travel Mystery||6||10-00||Peter Scudamore||Martin Pipe|
|1990||Moody Man||5||10-13||Peter Hobbs||Philip Hobbs|
|1991||Precious Boy||5||10-06||Lorcan Wyer||Mike O'Neill|
|1992||King Credo||7||10-04||Adrian Maguire||Steve Woodman|
|1993||Olympian||6||10-00||Peter Scudamore||Martin Pipe|
|1994||Precious Boy||8||11-07||Lorcan Wyer||Michael Meagher|
|1995||Collier Bay||5||10-02||Tom Grantham||Jim Old|
|1996||Amancio||5||10-08||Mick Fitzgerald||Guy Harwood|
|1997||Carlito Brigante||5||10-00||Jamie Osborne||Paul Webber|
|1998||Blowing Wind||5||11-10||Tony McCoy||Martin Pipe|
|1999||Regency Rake||7||10-07||Adrian Maguire||Arthur Moore|
|2000||Magic Combination||7||10-00||David Casey||Barney Curley|
|2001||Ibal||5||09-09||Mr Ben Hitchcott||Dina Smith|
|2002||Polar Red||5||11-01||Tony McCoy||Martin Pipe|
|2003||Korelo||5||11-06||Tony McCoy||Martin Pipe|
|2004||Scorned||9||10-03||Barry Fenton||Andrew Balding|
|2005||Medison||5||10-01||Timmy Murphy||Martin Pipe|
|2006||Victram||6||09-12||Andrew Lynch||Adrian McGuinness|
|2007||Gaspara||4||10-05||Tony McCoy||David Pipe|
|2008||Ashkazar||4||10-12||Timmy Murphy||David Pipe|
|2009||Dave's Dream||6||10-13||Barry Geraghty||Nicky Henderson|
|2010||Qaspal||6||10-03||Tony McCoy||Philip Hobbs|
- horseracinghistory.co.uk – profile of Trespasser, a three-time winner of the Imperial Cup.