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Cheltenham Gold Cup

Cheltenham Gold Cup
Grade 1 race
Location Cheltenham Racecourse
Cheltenham, England
Inaugurated 1924
Race type Steeplechase
Sponsor Betfred
Website Cheltenham
Race information
Distance 3 miles 2½ furlongs (5,331 m)
Surface Turf
Track Left-handed
Qualification 5-years-old and up
Weight 11 st 8 lb (5yo);
11 st 10 lb (6yo+)
7 lb for mares
Purse £550,0000 (2014)
1st: £327,326
Cheltenham Gold Cup
Purple, yellow cross of lorraine, yellow cap Black and beige (halved), chevrons on sleeves, beige cap Red and white check, black and white check sleeves, royal blue cap
Lord Windermere On His Own The Giant Bolster

The Cheltenham Gold Cup is a Grade 1 National Hunt horse race run on the New Course at Cheltenham Racecourse in England, over a distance of 3 miles 2½ furlongs (5,331 m), and during its running there are 22 fences to be jumped. The race is scheduled to take place each year during the Cheltenham Festival in March.

The steeplechase, which is open to horses aged five years and over, 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 chasers as Arkle, Best Mate, Golden Miller, Kauto Star and Mill House. The Gold Cup is the most valuable non-handicap chase in Britain, and in 2014 it offered a total prize fund of £550,000. Since 2014 it has been sponsored by Betfred,[1] after the betting company bought the government-owned Tote in June 2011.[2]

The 2014 Cheltenham Gold Cup was won by Lord Windermere.


  • History 1
    • Early years 1.1
    • Modern era 1.2
  • Records 2
  • Winners 3
  • Further reading 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6


Early years

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 12 March 1924. The race was covered by Pathe News.[3] 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 popularise the Gold Cup, and the Festival itself, with the Irish public.

Modern era

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".[4] 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.[5] 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".[6]

One of the cups, a different one being awarded each year, was reported stolen on 14 July 2010 after a burglary at a home in Wormington, Gloucestershire.[7]


Most successful horse (5 wins):

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 PagetGolden Miller (1932, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1936), Roman Hackle (1940), Mont Tremblant (1952)


  • Amateur jockeys indicated by "Mr".
Year Winner Age Jockey Trainer Owner
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 2nd Lord 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
1931 no race 1931 [1]
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
1937 no race 1937 [1]
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
1943 no race 1943–44 [2]
1945 Red Rower 11 Davy Jones 2nd Lord Stalbridge 2nd Lord 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[3] 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 [4] 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 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
2001 no race 2001 [5]
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
2011 Long Run 6 Mr Sam Waley-Cohen Nicky Henderson Robert Waley-Cohen
2012 Synchronised 9 Tony McCoy Jonjo O'Neill J. P. McManus
2013 Bobs Worth 8 Barry Geraghty Nicky Henderson The Not Afraid Partnership
2014 Lord Windermere 8 Davy Russell Jim Culloty Dr. Ronan Lambe

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 The 1957 winner, Linwell, was actually trained by Ivor Herbert, who was prevented from holding a trainer's licence by working as a journalist.[8]
4 Tied Cottage finished first in 1980, but he was subsequently disqualified after testing positive for a banned substance.
5 The 2001 running was cancelled due to a foot-and-mouth crisis. A substitute race at Sandown was won by Marlborough.

Further reading

  • Declan Colley, 2010, When Bobby Met Christy – The Story of Bobby Beasley and a Wayward Horse, Collins Press

See also


  1. ^ "Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup". Retrieved 9 December 2012. 
  2. ^ "The Tote sold to Betfred for £265M". 3 June 2011. 
  3. ^ "Pathe News film of 1924 race". Retrieved 15 March 2013. 
  4. ^ "Tote Gold Trophy Chase (2001)". 27 April 2001. Retrieved 18 March 2009. 
  5. ^ "Historic Gold Cup win for Kauto". BBC. 13 March 2009. Retrieved 18 March 2009. 
  6. ^ Wood, Greg (15 March 2009). "Kauto still not as good as Dessie, despite second Cup". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 18 March 2009. 
  7. ^ "Cheltenham Gold Cup Stolen From House".  
  8. ^ "Peter Scudamore's World of Racing:Linwell's golden era seems a world away". Daily Mail (London). 12 March 2007. Retrieved 18 April 2011. 

  • Racing Post:
    • 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997
    • 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008
    • 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

  • – Media information pack (2010).
  • – Cheltenham Gold Cup.
  • – Cheltenham Gold Cup – Cheltenham.
  • – Cheltenham Gold Cup.
  • The Breedon Book of Horse Racing Records. Breedon Books. 1993. p. 234.  
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