Cheltenham Festival Gold Cup History?

February 20, 2020

There is no doubt that you have heard of the famous Cheltenham Festival, no matter if you are a follower of horse racing or not with it being such a prestigious sporting event. Cheltenham Festival features around 28 races across four days in March (10th-13th) every year at the Cheltenham Racecourse in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. Out of the 28 races that take place over the four days, the most sort-after and popular race that takes place is the Cheltenham Gold Cup. With a total cash prize that surpasses £4.1million, Cheltenham Festival falls just shy of the race prize money available at the Grand National.

Cheltenham Festival originated in 1860 where it was first known as the National Hunt Chase and did not earn its title as Cheltenham Festival until 1904 when it was first held at the new Cheltenham Racecourse. The Cheltenham Gold Cup was inaugurated in 1924, meaning it has almost been in action for 100 years. The Gold Cup is by far the most illustrious race to take place during the festival with it offering a huge £350,000 prize for the winner. Before being introduced into Cheltenham Festival on 12th March 1924 as a jumps race, the first Gold Cup race took place in 1819 as a flat race that was contested over 3 miles at Cleeve Hill. During 1924 when the first Gold Cup jumps race was held, the owner of the winning horse received £685 as a cash prize which has now risen to a huge £350,000. The Gold Cup originally took place at what is known as the ‘Old Course’ at Cheltenham and switched to the ‘New Course’ in 1959.

The Gold Cup’s most successful horse remains Golden Miller who run five consecutive runnings from 1932-1936. During the 1960s the Gold Cup was dominated by Arkle who won three consecutive races from 1964 to 1966. Arkle went down in history as one of the all-time greats and remains the shortest-priced winner to ever have run at Cheltenham, with a price of just 1/10. The previous winner of the Cheltenham Gold Cup is Al Boum Photo who was ridden by Paul Townend and trained by Willie Mullins.

There will be more Gold Cup history to be made this year.