A brief history of the Cheltenham Gold Cup
As the blue riband event of National Hunt steeplechases, the Cheltenham Gold Cup is the one jumps race all trainers, owners and jockeys want to win. The next running of this is upcoming on Friday 13th March 2020 in the natural amphitheatre of the Cotswolds in Gloucestershire.
First run on the Flat at the Prestbury Park racecourse’s famous Cleeve Hill in 1819, it became a contest over fences in 1924. Easter Hero became the first dual Gold Cup winner with back-to-back successes in 1929 and 1930, but the following decade became to the remarkable Golden Miller.
A five-time Cheltenham Gold Cup victor from 1932 through to 1936, he also went on to Grand National glory at Aintree in 1934. Irish training legend Vincent O’Brien saddled Cottage Rage to three postwar successes between 1948 and 1950.
It was fellow Emerald Isle raider Arkle’s hat-trick under Pat Taaffe for Tom Dreaper in 1964, 1965 and 1966 that had experts purring, however, as he became the highest rated jumps horse ever by Timeform. He was sent off at 1/10 – the shortest price ever in the race – for his third victory in the Cheltenham showpiece.
L’Escargot was anything but a snail as he sealed back-to-back Gold Cups in 1970 and 1971 for jockey Tommy Carberry and trainer Dan Moore. Dawn Run became just the fourth mare to win it in 1986 and is the only horse of either sex to have doubled up this with a previous success in the Champion Hurdle.
Norton’s Coin became the biggest priced winner of the Cheltenham Gold Cup when he defied a 100/1 starting price in 1990, dethroning beloved grey gelding Desert Orchid in the process. Best Mate is the one of only two multiple winners in the modern times with three victories on the spin under Jim Culloty for Henrietta Knight in 2002, 2003 and 2004.
Just 12 months earlier to his first success, the whole Cheltenham Festival was called off due to the Foot and Mouth Disease epidemic that swept the British countryside. Kauto Star reigned for Ruby Walsh and Paul Nicholls in 2007, only to lose out to stable companion Denman the following year and then remarkably regained the Gold Cup in 2009.
Coneygree was a novice over fences but that didn’t stop him landing the spoils for Nico de Boinville and Mark Bradstock in 2015. Willie Mullins had tried his whole career to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup and finally did it thanks to Al Boum Photo in 2019.
For those of you looking for Cheltenham day 4 betting tips and predictions, the Gold Cup is the obvious race experts are all talking about. Opposing Al Boum Photo in the market for the 2020 renewal is stable companion Kemboy.
Kemboy only got as far as the first fence at Cheltenham, but came out and won both the Bowl at Aintree and Punchestown Gold Cup. He beat Al Boum Photo there, so it’s easy to see why he’s a favourite.
Heading the upcoming 2020 Cheltenham Gold Cup, however, is Lostintranslation for Colin Tizzard. The stable has had fancied runners for this like Cue Card, Thistlecrack and 2018 winner Native River in recent years, and their latest hot prospect has plenty more to offer after winning the Chase at Haydock Park en route to the Festival.
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