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Cheltenham Gold Cup: An Introduction

The Cheltenham Gold Cup is the highlight of the Cheltenham Festival and the most prestigious race of the entire Jumps season. It takes place each year on the final day of the Cheltenham Festival in March. It is open to horses who are aged five years or older, with different weights carried based both on age and gender.

The Cheltenham Gold Cup is run on the New Course at Cheltenham Racecourse, over a distances of three miles and two and a half furlongs. There are a total of 22 fences to be jumped. The first race known as the Cheltenham Gold Cup was run in July 1819, but it was a flat race contested over three miles.

The Cheltenham Gold Cup ran as a jumps race for the first time in March 1924 but did not start with the prestige it now has, overshadowed by the National Hunt Chase. However, that is very different, and the legend of the Cheltenham Gold Cup has grown over the decades thanks to a raft of top-class winners that have written themselves into Cheltenham Gold Cup history.

The Cheltenham Gold Cup Trophy is awarded to the winning connections of the horse that wins the Cheltenham Gold Cup. The original Cheltenham Gold Cup will be presented to the winners of the festival highlight after the racecourse was reunited with the prize in 2018. The Cheltenham Gold Cup trophy, first awarded 94 years ago, was offered to the course by a private owner who had kept it in a bank vault since the 1970s. It will replace the current Cheltenham Gold Cup, which has been in use since 1972.

Big Buck’s sits in behind the leaders, after the first circuit in the 2012 Stayers’ Hurdle.

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Cheltenham Festival Gold Cup

Cheltenham Gold Cup Race Card

The Cheltenham Gold Cup Race Card shows form for all of the leading Cheltenham Gold Cup runners. Entries for the Cheltenham Gold Cup are first made in early January, and there is a chance for owners to either keep their horse in the Cheltenham Gold Cup for another fee, or scratch them from the entries, in February.

Connections of the horse must then confirm their horse for the Cheltenham Gold Cup six days before the race, before the final declarations are made 48 hours before the race takes place on the Friday of the Cheltenham Festival.

Timeform’s Cheltenham Gold Cup Race Card shows the name of the horse, the trainer and the jockey, and the horse’s recent form figures.

You can navigate around the Cheltenham Gold Cup Race Card by clicking on the horse’s name. This will take you to the Timeform profile page for the horse where you can get more details of the horse’s form and how well it has been running before heading to the Cheltenham Festival for the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

You can click on the trainer or jockey’s name as well, providing all of the Cheltenham Gold Cup statistics and Cheltenham Gold Cup information that you need when assessing the chances of each Cheltenham Gold Cup runner.

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Cheltenham Gold Cup Runners

The runners for this year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup will go to post at 15:30 on the Friday of the Cheltenham Festival.

The Cheltenham Gold Cup field size varies greatly over time, with variants such as ground conditions and quality of opposition taken into consideration.

Arkle is one of the famous names associated with the Cheltenham Gold Cup, but he only beat a total of 10 runners over the three years that he ran in the race. In contrast, Silver Buck beat 21 other rivals when landing the 1982 renewal of the Cheltenham Gold Cup, the same number that War Of Attrition defeated in 2006.

Recent renewals of the Cheltenham Gold Cup have tended to feature between 13 and 16 runners.

Best Mate and Jim Culloty clear the final fence, heading for their third Gold Cup victory.

Cheltenham Gold Cup Winners

The all-time most successful horse in the Cheltenham Gold Cup is Golden Miller, who won it a total of five times across five consecutive years – 1932 to 1936. The top all-time Cheltenham Gold Cup jockey is Pat Taaffe, who won a total of four times – three times on Arkle (1964-66) and one on Fort Leney (1968).

The all-time leading Cheltenham Gold Cup trainer is Tom Dreaper, who won it a total of five times, thanks to Prince Regent (1946), Arkle (1964-66) and Fort Leney (1968).

As for the leading Cheltenham Gold Cup owner, Dorothy Paget won it seven times – five times with Golden Miller (1932-36), as well as with Roman Hackle (1940) and Mont Tremblant (1952).

Past greats such as Golden Miller, Arkle and Desert Orchid, and modern heroes like Best Mate and Kauto Star, have all tasted victory in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Since the turn of the century, Best Mate (2002-04) and Kauto Star (2007, 2009) are the only ones to have won the Cheltenham Gold Cup more than once.

Jim Culloty, who is the top jockey in the Cheltenham Gold Cup this century, has also won it as the trainer of Lord Windermere in 2014. Henrietta Knight and Paul Nicholls are the most successful Cheltenham Gold Cup trainers this century, with Jim Lewis (Best Mate) being the most successful Cheltenham Gold Cup owner.

Native River won a compelling duel with Might Bite in 2018 – with his superior stamina coming into play due to the testing ground – but could only manage fourth place a year later as Al Boum Photo provided trainer Willie Mullins and jockey Paul Townend with a first win in the race. Under a similar light campaign, one Gold Cup quickly became two for Al Boum Photo, who just held off the late rally of Santini.

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Cheltenham Gold Cup Odds

Cheltenham Gold Cup Odds change throughout the course of the season, with Cheltenham Gold Cup runners either shortening in the betting or their odds lengthening due to a variety of reasons, though it usually comes down to performances on the racecourse.

Ground conditions can also affect the Cheltenham Gold Cup Odds, with the Cheltenham Festival usually known for providing fast, spring ground. However, if there is a lot of wet weather, and testing conditions prevail, then the Cheltenham Gold Cup Odds can often change dramatically.

For example, the 2018 Cheltenham Gold Cup was run on ground described by Timeform as ‘heavy’. As a result, the Cheltenham Gold Cup Odds of Might Bite , whose stamina for the long distance was not assured on demanding ground, began to lengthen, and the Cheltenham Gold Cup Odds of Native River, a proven strong stayer, shortened.

The longest Cheltenham Gold Cup Odds of any winner was recorded by Norton’s Coin in 1990. Trained by Sirrel Griffiths and ridden by Graham McCourt, Norton’s Coin surprised nearly everyone at the Cheltenham Festival when winning at Cheltenham Gold Cup Odds of 100/1.

The shortest priced winner of the Cheltenham Gold Cup is Arkle, when he won the third and last of his Cheltenham Gold Cups in 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).

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Utilising Cheltenham Festival free bets can give punters a head start over the bookies and give bettors a better chance of making a profit in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

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Cheltenham Gold Cup Results

Cheltenham Gold Cup Results are easily accessed on our Cheltenham Gold Cup Results page , which gives the full industry starting price (ISP) for ever Cheltenham Gold Cup runner.

Timeform’s Cheltenham Gold Cup Results page shows the name of the horse, the trainer and the jockey, and the horse’s finishing position. You can navigate around the Cheltenham Gold Cup Result by clicking on the horse’s name.

This will take you to the Timeform profile page for the horse where you can get more details of how well it has been running before heading to the Cheltenham Festival for the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

You can click on the trainer or jockey’s name as well, providing all of the Cheltenham Gold Cup statistics and Cheltenham Gold Cup information that you need when assessing the performance of each Cheltenham Gold Cup runner.

Timeform’s Cheltenham Gold Cup Results page also shows the age of each Cheltenham Gold Cup runner and the weight that the horse carried in the race, as well as the most important details of all: the finishing position. You can see how far your Cheltenham Gold Cup horse won or lost by, and the distance between every horse in the race.

There have been several notable Cheltenham Gold Cup Results this century, including a hat-trick of wins in the race for the Henrietta Knight-trained Best Mate between 2002 and 2004.

Kauto Star became the first horse to regain the Cheltenham Gold Cup when winning the 2009 renewal, two years after landing his first win in the race.

The ill-fated Synchronised received classic AP McCoy ride when winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2012, while Native River’s superior stamina won the day in 2018 when he stayed on best of all to deny the Nicky Henderson-trained Might Bite. Henderson had to play second fiddle again in 2020 with Santini as Al Boum Photo registered an historic second successive victory in the race.

Native River leads runner-up Might Bite over the last in the 2018 Gold Cup.

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Cheltenham Gold Cup Tips

You can get the best Cheltenham Gold Cup Tips by clicking on our dedicated Cheltenham Gold Cup Tips page . Get Cheltenham Gold Cup Tips and feature betting articles from the top Timeform stable of expert tipsters.

As well as scouring the ante-post betting markets, to look for the best bets with the non-runner no bet concession for the Cheltenham Gold Cup, our tipsters provide in-depth Cheltenham Gold Cup Runner Guides and Analyst Verdicts for the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

At the 2018 Cheltenham Festival, Timeform’s Simon Walker provided the best Cheltenham Gold Cup Tips when selecting Native River to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup, as he wrote: "Not a vintage-looking renewal of the Gold Cup and, with underfoot conditions as testing as they are, Might Bite has been on the drift in recent days, concerns as to how well he’s going to see things out granted the stiffest test he’s faced so far. It’s certainly on the cards that others will want to turn it into a thorough test, too, Richard Johnson sure to be making the most of Native River’s stamina and jumping ability by pressing on a good way from home. In fact, it’s our belief that such tactics will enable Native River to improve on his third place from last year, purposely kept fresh this time round and no surprise if he manages to run the finish out of everything else, the excellent recent form of the Tizzard stable another positive pointer to his chance."

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CHELTENHAM COUNTDOWN 2021

Days Hours Mins Secs

HORSE SEARCH

CHELTENHAM RACES 2021

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NEXT RACE SMART STATS

3 W. P. Mullins's number of winners in past 9 runnings. (amongst 2 runners saddles ONTHEROPES)
2 Gordon Elliott's number of winners in past 9 runnings. (saddles ESCARIA TEN)
21% W. P. Mullins's strike rate at FAIRYHOUSE since the start of the 2015/16 season (saddles ONTHEROPES and MONKFISH)

LATEST RACING RESULTS