CHELTENHAM GOLD CUP

The Cheltenham Gold Cup is the most prestigious jumps race of the year and always the highlight of the week at the Cheltenham Festival.

Its roll of honour includes household names such as Golden Miller, Arkle, Dawn Run, Desert Orchid, Best Mate and Kauto Star.

Cheltenham Gold Cup Trophy
Grade 1 | 5yo+ | Friday 15.30
3 miles 2½ furlongs | 22 fences | New Course
Weight: 11st 6lb (5yo) / 11st 10lb (6yo+) | Allowance: 7lb for mares
Prize money (2022): £625,000 | 1st: £351,688

The race is a true test of a horse’s stamina and jumping, with 22 fences to be cleared before the final, punishing climb to the line.

Indeed, just eight horses have won the Gold Cup on more than one occasion:

MULTIPLE WINNERS

22/22 winners were previous Grade 1 winners
21/22 winners were aged between 7-9
20/22 winners had won that season
19/22 winners had competed in 12 or fewer chases
20/22 winners were priced 9/1 or less
18/22 winners were in the top 3 in the betting
18/22 winners had won (10) or placed (7) at the Festival before
16/22 winners had won last time out (9 of the last 11)
10/22 favourites won
Data covers every Cheltenham Gold Cup since 2000 including the 2022 renewal

Recently, lightly raced chasers have fared best - the vast majority of winners having run in 12 or less chases when lining up in the Gold Cup. 

Most winners have either won or placed at the Festival before and Coneygree (2015) is the only winner since 1996 not to have run at the Festival previously.

Surprisingly though, proven stamina isn’t so important: only 4 of the last 17 winners had already won beyond 3 miles ½ furlong. 

But class is everything, with every winner this century having already won a Grade 1.

Age is also a good guide: most winners are aged seven, eight, or nine, with Long Run (aged six) the only exception this century.

More recently, 8 of the last 9 winners were aged either seven or eight.

Six of the last seven Cheltenham Gold Cups have now gone to Ireland.

Last year Minello Indo, A Plus Tard & Al Boum Photo finished 1-2-3. All three were previous Grade 1 winners, had won that season, won at the Festival before and had all competed in 12 or fewer chases.

LAST 5 WINNERS’ DATA

YEAR
AGE
OFFICIAL RATING
WEIGHT
2022
8
172
11-10
2021
8
164
11-10
2020
8
175
11-10
2019
7
164
11-10
2018
8
166
11-10

RECENT WINNERS

YEAR
WINNER
JOCKEY / TRAINER
SP
2022
A Plus Tard
Rachael Blackmore / Henry De Bromhead
3/1f
2021
Minella Indo
Jack Kennedy / Henry De Bromhead
9/1
2020
Al Boum Photo
Paul Townend / Willie Mullins
10/3f
2019
Al Boum Photo
Paul Townend / Willie Mullins
12/1
2018
Native River
Richard Johnson / Colin Tizzard
5/1
2017
Sizing John
Robbie Power / Jessica Harrington
7/1
2016
Don Cossack
Bryan Cooper / Gordon Elliott
9/4f
2015
Coneygree
Nico de Boinville / Mark Bradstock
7/1
2014
Lord Windermere
Davy Russell / Jim Culloty
20/1
2013
Bobs Worth
Barry Geraghty / Nicky Henderson
11/4f
2012
Synchronised
Tony McCoy / Jonjo O’Neill
8/1
2011
Long Run
Mr Sam Waley-Cohen / Nicky Henderson
7/2f
2010
Imperial Commander
Paddy Brennan / Nigel Twiston-Davies
7/1
2009
Kauto Star
Ruby Walsh / Paul Nicholls
7/4f
2008
Denman
Sam Thomas / Paul Nicholls
9/4
2007
Kauto Star
Ruby Walsh / Paul Nicholls
5/4f
2006
War Of Attrition
Conor O’Dwyer / Mouse Morris
15/2
2005
Kicking King
Barry Geraghty / Tom Taaffe
4/1f
2004
Best Mate
Jim Culloty / Henrietta Knight
8/11f
2003
Best Mate
Jim Culloty / Henrietta Knight
13/8f
2002
Best Mate
Jim Culloty / Henrietta Knight
7/1
2001

Festival Cancelled
 
2000
Looks Like Trouble
Richard Johnson / Noel Chance
9/2

This year A Plus Tard comprehensively turned the tables on his 2021 conqueror under Rachael Blackmore, who'd kept the faith.

He ran out a highly impressive 15-length winner for another Gold Cup 1-2 for Henry De Bromhead:

‘THIS IS THE STUFF YOU DREAM ABOUT, AND WE’RE JUST SO LUCKY TO HAVE HER - SHE IS A SAVAGE RIDER’

The 2021 Gold Cup winner was Minella Indo who finished ahead of stablemate A Plus Tard in a 1-2 for Henry de Bromhead:

Al Boum Photo achieved the rare feat of back-to-back Gold Cups in 2020:

Willie Mullins finally won the Gold Cup in 2019, having trained the runner-up 6 times:

Native River and Might Bite had an almighty battle almost from start to finish in 2018:

Sizing John was the first horse to achieve the Irish Gold Cup, Cheltenham Gold Cup and Punchestown Gold Cup treble in 2017:

Cue Card was set to win a £1m bonus for winning the 'Triple Crown' of Betfair Chase, King George and Gold Cup in 2016.

However, the two-time Festival winner fell three out when going well, leaving Don Cossack to triumph for Gordon Elliott:

Coneygree was the first novice in 40 years to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2015, on only his fourth start over fences:

Lord Windermere followed up victory in the RSA Chase the year before to win in 2014.

Trained by Jim Culloty, who won the race three times as a jockey with Best Mate, he remains the longest priced Cheltenham Gold Cup winner this century at 20/1:

Bobs Worth rallied to maintain his unbeaten record at Cheltenham in 2013.

He was the first horse since Flying Bolt in the 1960's to win three different Festival races, following the Albert Bartlett Hurdle in 2011 and the RSA Chase in 2012.

CHELTENHAM GOLD CUP HISTORY

The first Cheltenham Gold Cup was run way back in 1819 when it was a flat race that took place on Cleeve Hill, which overlooks the modern racecourse.

The jumps race we know now was introduced in 1924 and first won by Red Splash, who only took part due to the late withdrawal of the favourite Alcazar.

It was less prestigious at that time than both the National Hunt Chase and County Hurdle.

Golden Miller raised its profile, winning five years in a row from 1932 to 1936 in the silks of his colourful owner, Dorothy Paget.

The race was switched to the New Course in 1959 and arguably the most remarkable renewal took place in 1983 when Michael Dickinson saddled the first five runners home, headed by Bregawn. 

However, the most memorable contest was probably the 1989 running which saw an emotional success for the massively popular grey, Desert Orchid:

Dawn Run was also a hugely popular winner in 1986, becoming the only horse to date to win both the Gold Cup and Champion Hurdle.

Passed on the run-in by the previous year's winner Forgive 'n Forget and Wayward Lad, she rallied to snatch a famous victory:

‘AND THE MARE’S BEGINNING TO GET UP’

While Jenny Pitman was the first woman to train a winner of the Gold Cup with Burrough Hill Lad in 1984:

L'Escargot 1971

Further back, the 1964 Cheltenham Gold Cup was billed as 'the race of the century' - a showdown between Mill House and Arkle.

Only two other horses were even entered!

Mill House started as the favourite, having beaten Arkle in the Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup at Newbury 4 months prior, but Arkle won this now fabled duel by five lengths:

‘THIS IS THE CHAMPION. THIS IS THE BEST WE’VE SEEN FOR A LONG TIME’

The legendary chaser completed his Gold Cup hat-trick in 1966 as the 1/10 favourite:

In 2004, Best Mate emulated Arkle's feat by winning the race for a third time:

The most hyped Cheltenham Gold Cup took place in 2009, as reigning champion Kauto Star took on stablemate Denman:

‘RELENTLESS, REMORSELESS...HAS POUNDED KAUTO STAR INTO SUBMISSION! THE ANSWER IS DENMAN’

But in 2009 Kauto Star became the first horse to regain his crown:

PREVIOUS WINNERS

YEAR
WINNER
JOCKEY / TRAINER
SP
1999
See More Business
Mick Fitzgerald / Paul Nicholls
16/1
1998
Cool Dawn
Andrew Thornton / Robert Alner
25/1
1997
Mr Mulligan
Tony McCoy / Noel Chance
20/1
1996
Imperial Call
Conor O'Dwyer / Fergie Sutherland
9/2
1995
Master Oats
Norman Williamson / Kim Bailey
100/30
1994
The Fellow
Adam Kondrat / François Doumen
7/1
1993
Jodami
Mark Dwyer / Peter Beaumont
8/1
1992
Cool Ground
Adrian Maguire / Toby Balding
25/1
1991
Garrison Savannah
Mark Pitman / Jenny Pitman
16/1
1990
Norton's Coin
Graham McCourt / Sirrel Griffiths
100/1
1989
Desert Orchid
Simon Sherwood / David Elsworth
5/2
1988
Charter Party
Richard Dunwoody / David Nicholson
10/1
1987
The Thinker
Ridley Lamb / Arthur Stephenson
13/2
1986
Dawn Run
Jonjo O'Neill / Paddy Mullins
15/8f
1985
Forgive 'n Forget
Mark Dwyer / Jimmy FitzGerald
7/1
1984
Burrough Hill Lad
Phil Tuck / Jenny Pitman
7/2
1983
Bregawn
Graham Bradley / Michael Dickinson
100/30
1982
Silver Buck
Robert Earnshaw / Michael Dickinson
8/1
1981
Little Owl
Jim Wilson / Peter Easterby
6/1
1980
Master Smudge*
Richard Hoare / Arthur Barrow
14/1
1979
Alverton
Jonjo O'Neill / Peter Easterby
5/1
1978†
Midnight Court
John Francome / Fred Winter
5/2
1977
Davy Lad
Dessie Hughes / Mick O'Toole
14/1
1976
Royal Frolic
John Burke / Fred Rimell
14/1
1975
Ten Up
Tommy Carberry / Jim Dreaper
2/1
1974
Captain Christy
Bobby Beasley / Pat Taaffe
7/1
1973
The Dikler
Ron Barry / Fulke Walwyn
9/1
1972
Glencaraig Lady
Frank Berry / Francis Flood
6/1
1971
L'Escargot
Tommy Carberry / Dan Moore
7/2
1970
L'Escargot
Tommy Carberry / Dan Moore
33/1
1969
What A Myth
Paul Kelleway / Ryan Price
8/1
1968
Fort Leney
Pat Taaffe / Tom Dreaper
11/2
1967
Woodland Venture
Terry Biddlecombe / Fred Rimell
100/8
1966
Arkle
Pat Taaffe / Tom Dreaper
1/10f
1965
Arkle
Pat Taaffe / Tom Dreaper
30/100f
1964
Arkle
Pat Taaffe / Tom Dreaper
7/4
1963
Mill House
Willie Robinson / Fulke Walwyn
7/2
1962
Mandarin
Fred Winter / Fulke Walwyn
7/2
1961
Saffron Tartan
Fred Winter / Don Butchers
2/1
1960
Pas Seul
Bill Rees / Bob Turnell
6/1
1959
Roddy Owen
Bobby Beasley / Danny Morgan
5/1
1958
Kerstin
Stan Hayhurst / Verly Bewicke
7/1
1957
Linwell
Michael Scudamore / Charlie Mallon
100/9
1956
Limber Hill
Jimmy Power / Bill Dutton
11/8f
1955
Gay Donald
Tony Grantham / Jim Ford
33/1
1954
Four Ten
Tommy Cusack / John Roberts
100/6
1953
Knock Hard
Tim Molony / Vincent O'Brien
11/2
1952
Mont Tremblant
Dave Dick / Fulke Walwyn
8/1
1951†
Silver Fame
Martin Molony / George Beeby
6/4f
1950
Cottage Rake
Aubrey Brabazon / Vincent O'Brien
5/6f
1949†
Cottage Rake
Aubrey Brabazon / Vincent O'Brien
4/6f
1948
Cottage Rake
Aubrey Brabazon / Vincent O'Brien
10/1
1947†
Fortina
Richard Black / Hector Christie
8/1
1946
Prince Regent
Tim Hyde / Tom Dreaper
4/7f
1945
Red Rower
Davy Jones / Lord Stalbridge
11/4f
1944

No Race

1943

No Race

1942
Medoc II
Frenchie Nicholson / Reg Hobbs
9/2
1941
Poet Prince
Roger Burford / Ivor Anthony
7/2
1940
Roman Hackle
Evan Williams / Owen Anthony
Evensf
1939
Brendan's Cottage
George Owen / George Beeby
8/1
1938
Morse Code
Danny Morgan / Ivor Anthony
13/2
1937

No Race

1936
Golden Miller
Evan Williams / Owen Anthony
21/20f
1935
Golden Miller
Gerry Wilson / Basil Briscoe
1/2f
1934
Golden Miller
Gerry Wilson / Basil Briscoe
6/5f
1933
Golden Miller
Billy Stott / Basil Briscoe
4/7f
1932
Golden Miller
Ted Leader / Basil Briscoe
13/2
1931

No Race

1930
Easter Hero
Tommy Cullinan / Jack Anthony
8/11f
1929
Easter Hero
Dick Rees / Jack Anthony
7/4f
1928
Patron Saint
Dick Rees / Stanley Harrison
7/2
1927
Thrown In
Hugh Grosvenor / Owen Anthony
10/1
1926
Koko
Tim Hamey / Alfred Bickley
10/1
1925
Ballinode
Ted Leader / Frank Morgan
3/1
1924
Red Splash
Dick Rees / Fred Withington
5/1
All Cheltenham Gold Cup winners prior to 2000

* Tied Cottage finished first in 1980 but was subsequently disqualified after testing positive for a banned substance
† Run at April meeting

CHELTENHAM GOLD CUP FAQ's