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Press Release 1st March 2023 Cheltenham

By Ben Cox

The Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup, the most prestigious contest in Jump racing and the highlight of The Festival, will celebrate its Centenary in 2024.


After the 2023 renewal has been staged on Friday 17th March, there will be a year’s worth of special events during the countdown to Gold Cup 100.


Andre Klein, Assistant General Manager at Cheltenham Racecourse, explained at today’s Gold Cup 100 Launch: “In the Centennial year of the Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup our objective is to promote a love of Jump racing by celebrating the race’s long and fascinating history.


“In particular, we will be focusing on the horses and heroes that have been lucky enough to win the great race.


“We are also looking to provide an opportunity for people from diverse communities to build a personal affinity with the Gold Cup by taking the trophy on a nationwide tour.


“Another aim for us is to build awareness for our chosen charity partners and raise funds for worthy causes.”




The Dawn Runs (June 26th - June 30th, 2023)

This is a charity event to raise awareness for Racing Welfare where a team of fund-raisers will be taking the Gold Cup to the top of the highest peaks in Ireland, Wales and England and then on to the summit of Arkle in Scotland - the mountain that lent its name to the greatest of all Gold Cup winners.


The Gold Cup 100 Community Fund Golf Tournament (September 21st, 2023)

A charity golf event on Cleeve Hill to be run in aid of the Gold Cup 100 Community Fund, which will enable us to make grants to local, charitable causes through the Rotary Clubs of Cheltenham


One Hundred Day Countdown & Tour (From December 6th, 2023)

Each and every day from 100 days out from Gold Cup Day, he trophy itself will be going on a grand tour visiting schools, hospitals, care homes and other locations where it has the ability to shine.


Festival Monday (March 11th, 2024)

On the eve of The Festival next year, local schools and other community groups will be invited to Cheltenham Racecourse to enjoy a fun, behind the scenes educational experience in conjunction with our partners, Racing To School. Other activities taking place on the day will be a special Gold Cup 100 charity luncheon. 


Gold Cup Day 100 (March 15th, 2024)

On the big day, there will be a number of befitting Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup-themed activities that together, with the running of the race, will form the fabric of what will be a momentous occasion. The highlight will be a parade of legends featuring horses that have competed for the Gold Cup.




Gold Cup 100

A pictorial book; Horses, Heroes And History That Made The Gold Cup will be published to mark the centenary, written by leading British racing historian, Chris Pitt.


Friends of the Gold Cup

A chance for racing fans and those passionate about the Gold Cup to join up and hear news about the tour and receive special offers.



All the Gold Cup’s winning jockeys, trainers and owners are naturally brilliant ambassadors for the Gold Cup and we hope they will all join us on occasions to help us celebrate the most prestigious of all steeplechases.


The Gold Cup 100 Centenary Collection

Internationally renowned contemporary artist Jeremy Houghton is planning to create a piece of art that depicts an image of each and every Gold Cup winner from 1924 onwards. The artworks will be auctioned with the proceeds going to a number of racing charities.




Although a race known as the Cheltenham Gold Cup had existed in the past as a three-mile Flat race in the 19th century, its present status is very much down to the foresight of Frederick Cathcart, Clerk of the Course and Chairman of Cheltenham Racecourse from 1908 to 1934.


Jump racing in the early 20th century was dominated by the Grand National and as great a spectacle as that world-famous race is, it is a handicap and Cathcart was keen to establish a conditions contest for the best chasers to contest. The Cheltenham Gold Cup was born in 1924, followed by the Champion Hurdle in 1927 - the modern foundations of The Festival as know and love it today were well and truly laid.


Red Splash won the inaugural running of the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 1924 and was presented with a magnificent trophy comprised of 644 grams of nine carat gold and plated in 18 carat gold to give it a rich colour.


After lying in a bank vault for many years, Cheltenham was reunited with the original trophy at the end of 2018 and it is now the perpetual trophy for the Cheltenham Gold Cup. The trophy has been taken on tour around the region in the build-up to the race’s 100th anniversary, taking locations as diverse as Cheltenham Town Football Club, Gloucester Rugby Club, schools, Hartpury College, Leckhampton Court Hospice and even NATO's Allied Rapid Reaction Force barracks.


Cathcart’s vision of an elite level weights contest for the very best chasers quickly came into being thanks to two great horses – Easter Hero, successful in 1929 and 1930 and Golden Miller, the contest’s winning-most horses with five successes (1932, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1936). Easter Hero narrowly failed to add victory in the Grand National to his CV, finishing runner-up under 12st 7lbs in the 1929 running of the Aintree contest, but Golden Miller won both races in 1934 and remains the only horse to achieve this magnificent double in the same season. L’Escargot won the Gold Cup in 1970 and 1971 followed by the Grand National in 1975 but nowadays it is rare for horses to contest both races.


The early post-war years at The Festival were dominated by Vincent O’Brien and the great trainer saddled Cottage Rake to three consecutive victories (1948, 1949, 1950) as well as Knock Hard (1953) before turning his hand, equally successfully, to Flat racing.


It is another Irishman who holds the record for training the most Cheltenham Gold Cup winners – Tom Dreaper. Modest and unassuming, viewing himself more as farmer who trained a few horses on the side, Dreaper saddled his first Gold Cup winner in 1946 with the veteran Prince Regent, a magnificent horse who was robbed of racing in his prime years in Britain due to World War II. Dreaper’s second Gold Cup winner was for many the greatest of them all – Arkle, the winner in 1964, 1965 and 1966. Fort Leney was Dreaper’s record fifth and final winner in 1968.


The 1980s was a vintage decade for the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Having saddled Silver Buck to success in 1982, a year later his Michael Dickinson recorded the remarkable feat of saddling the first five horses home led by Bregawn.


Cheltenham has never seen scenes like those in the aftermath of the Irish mare Dawn Run landing the 1986 contest, when she made history by becoming the first horse (and to date, only) horse to win the Champion Hurdle and the Cheltenham Gold Cup.


It was said the hugely popular grey Desert Orchid couldn’t win on a right-handed course and didn’t like soft ground but that was no bar to success in the 1989 Cheltenham Gold Cup when he rallied with tremendous courage to overhaul Yahoo in the final strides. With conditions much more in is favour, Desert Orchid was expected to win again in 1990 but had to settle for third behind Norton’s Coin who at 100-1 was the longest-priced winner in the race’s history and the only to be trained in Wales.


With no multiple winner since L’Escargot in the early 1970s, many were beginning to wonder if there would ever be another but then along came Best Mate, who was expertly trained by Henrietta Knight to record a hat-trick of victories in 2002, 2003 and 2004.


Paul Nicholls first enjoyed Gold Cup success in 1999 with See More Business and a second came in 2007 courtesy of Kauto Star. Also a record five-time winner of Kempton Park’s King George VI Chase, Kauto Star had to give way to stable companion Denman in 2008 before winning again in 2009 and making history by becoming the first horse to regain the Gold Cup crown. Nicholls is now just one winner away from equalling Tom Dreaper’s longstanding record of five Cheltenham Gold Cup winners.


Racing is one of the few sports where women and men compete on equal terms and the Gold Cup has long been on the forefront of equality between the sexes. Jenny Pitman became the first successful female trainer with Burrough Hill Lad in 1984 and repeated the feat seven years later with Garrison Savannah. Henrietta Knight’s three wins with Best Mate were followed by Jessica Harrington, who became the first female Irish trainer to succeed with Sizing John in 2017.


It was just last year that that who else but the all-conquering Rachael Blackmore became the first winning female jockey. Having gone agonisingly close when runner-up to stable companion Minella Indo on A Plus Tard in 2021, Blackmore and A Plus Tard reversed the placings with Minella Indo in no uncertain terms to come home the spectacular 15-length winner.


Commercial sponsorship of the Cheltenham Gold Cup was provided by Piper Champagne in 1972. The Tote took over sponsorship in 1980 followed by Betfred (2012-2015), Timico (2016-2018) and Magners (2019-2020). The 2021 contest took place behind closed doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic and was run in aid of WellChild while Boodles assumed sponsorship in 2022.


It has been a marvellous Gold Cup century and who knows what the next 100 years will hold. One thing is for certain – if Frederick Cathcart were able to see how his vision grew to become the race the Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup is today he would be one very proud man.





The 1982 and 2006 Gold Cups attracted the joint-largest fields, when 22 runners went to post on each occasion. Since the chase was first run in 1924 no other renewals have had more than 18 runners. The maximum field allowed is 24.



In the Cheltenham Gold Cup’s history, only eight horses have won more than once, most recently Al Boum Photo, successful in 2019 and 2020. Kauto Star, who took the spoils in 2007 and 2009 and was the only horse to ever regain the Gold Cup. The others were Best Mate (2002, 2003. 2004), L’Escargot (1970, 1971), Arkle (1964, 1965, 1966), Cottage Rake (1948, 1949, 1950), Golden Miller (1932, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1936) and Easter Hero (1929, 1930).


Golden Miller holds the record for the most Gold Cup victories, with five consecutive wins from 1932 to 1936.



Golden Miller’s owner, Dorothy Paget, has been the most successful owner in the race with an amazing seven victories, with Roman Hackle (1940) and Mont Tremblant (1952) adding to Golden Miller’s five wins.



The most successful trainer has been Tom Dreaper, who won five Gold Cups with three separate horses, namely Prince Regent (1946), Arkle (1964, 1965 and 1966) and Fort Leney (1968).


Paul Nicholls is the most successful current handler with four wins with three separate horses - See More Business (1999), Kauto Star (2007 & 2009) and Denman (2008).



The most successful jockey has been Pat Taaffe, who recorded four victories on Arkle (1964, 1965 & 1966) and Fort Leney (1968). Paul Townend is the only current rider to have been successful more than once, having partnered Al Boum Photo to both his victories (2019 & 2020).



Five winning jockeys went on train a Gold Cup winner.





Danny Morgan

Morse Code (1938)

Roddy Owen (1959)

Fred Winter

Saffron Tartan (1961), Mandarin (1962)

Midnight Court (1978)

Pat Taaffe

Arkle (1964, 1965, 1966), Fort Leney (1968)

Captain Christy (1974)

Jonjo O’Neill

Alverton (1979), Dawn Run (1986)

Synchronised (2012)

Jim Culloty

Best Mate (2002, 2003, 2004)

Lord Windermere (2014)




A total of four mares have won the Cheltenham Gold Cup – Ballinode (1925), Kerstin (1958), Glencaraig Lady (1972) and Dawn Run (1986).



The longest-priced winner of the Gold Cup has been Norton’s Coin, who started at 100-1 in 1990, while the shortest-priced winner was Arkle, the 1-10 favourite in 1966. In the 94 runnings, 32 favourites have won – (34 per cent).



The only grey Cheltenham Gold Cup winner was Desert Orchid in 1989.



The breakdown of winners by age is as follows:


5yo - 3 victories

6yo - 5 victories

7yo - 18 victories

8yo - 25 victories

9yo - 25 victories

10yo - 11 victories

11yo - 5 victories

12yo - 2 victories



The winners of 29 Gold Cups have been trained overseas.


IRELAND (28): Ballinode (1925), Prince Regent (1946), Cottage Rake (1948, 1949, 1950), Knock Hard (1953), Roddy Owen (1959), Arkle (1964, 1965, 1966), Fort Leney (1968), L’Escargot (1970, 1971), Glencaraig Lady (1972), Captain Christy (1974), Ten Up (1975), Davy Lad (1977), Dawn Run (1986), Imperial Call (1996), Kicking King (2005), War Of Attrition (2006), Lord Windermere (2014), Don Cossack (2016). Sizing John (2017), Al Boum Photo (2019 & 2020), Minella Indo (2021) and A Plus Tard (2022).


FRANCE (1): The Fellow (1994)



Dawn Run is the only horse to have won both the Champion Hurdle and Gold Cup. She was successful in 1984 and 1986 respectively.



The fastest winning time is 6 minutes 29.7 seconds, set by Long Run in 2011.



Michael Dickinson saddled the first five horses home in the 11-runnner 1983 renewal – Bregawn (Graham Bradley – 100-30F), Captain John (David Goulding – 11-1), Wayward Lad (Jonjo O’Neill – 6-1), Silver Buck (Robert Earnshaw – 5-1) and Ashley House (Mr Dermot Browne – 12-1).


Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup - Roll of Honour


Year Winner Age-Wt Jockey Trainer Owner SP Ran

2022 A Plus Tard 8-11-10 Cheveley Park Stud Henry de Bromhead IRE Rachael Blackmore 3-1F 11

2021 Minella Indo 8-11-10 Jack Kennedy Henry de Bromhead IRE Barry Maloney 9-1 12

2020 Al Boum Photo 8-11-10 Paul Townend Willie Mullins IRE Marie Donnelly 100-30F 12

2019 Al Boum Photo 7-11-10 Paul Townend Willie Mullins IRE Marie Donnelly 12-1 16

2018 Native River 8-11-10 Richard Johnson Colin Tizzard Brocade Racing 5-1 15

2017 Sizing John 7-11-10 Robbie Power Jessica Harrington IRE Ann & Alan Potts 7-1 13

2016 Don Cossack 9-11-10 Bryan Cooper Gordon Elliott IRE Gigginstown House Stud 9-4F 9

2015 Coneygree 8-11-10 Nico de Boinville Mark Bradstock The Max Partnership 7-1 16

2014 Lord Windermere 8-11-10 Davy Russell Jim Culloty IRE Dr Ronan Lambe 20-1 13

2013 Bobs Worth 8-11-10 Barry Geraghty Nicky Henderson The Not Afraid Partnership 11-4F 9

2012 Synchronised 9-11-10 A P McCoy Jonjo O’Neill J P McManus 8-1 14

2011 Long Run 6-11-10 Mr Sam Waley-Cohen Nicky Henderson Robert Waley-Cohen 7-2F 13

2010 Imperial Commander 9-11-10 Paddy Brennan Nigel Twiston-Davies Our Friends In The North 7-1 11

2009 Kauto Star 9-11-10 Ruby Walsh Paul Nicholls Clive Smith 7-4F 16

2008 Denman 8-11-10 Sam Thomas Paul Nicholls Paul Barber & Maggie Findlay 9-4 12

2007 Kauto Star 7-11-10 Ruby Walsh Paul Nicholls Clive Smith 5-4F 18

2006 War Of Attrition 7-11-10 Conor O’Dwyer Mouse Morris IRE Gigginstown House Stud 15-2 22

2005 Kicking King 7-11-10 Barry Geraghty Tom Taaffe IRE Conor Clarkson 4-1F 15

2004 Best Mate 9-12-00 Jim Culloty Henrietta Knight Jim Lewis 8-11F 10

2003 Best Mate 8-12-00 Jim Culloty Henrietta Knight Jim Lewis 13-8F 15

2002 Best Mate 7-12-00 Jim Culloty Henrietta Knight Jim Lewis 7-1 18

2001 No Race (Foot and Mouth)

2000 Looks Like Trouble 8-12-00 Richard Johnson Noel Chance Tim Collins 9-2 12

1999 See More Business 9-12-00 Mick Fitzgerald Paul Nicholls Paul Barber-John Keighley 16-1 12

1998 Cool Dawn 10-12-00 Andrew Thornton Robert Alner Hon. Miss Dido Harding 25-1 17

1997 Mr Mulligan 9-12-00 A P McCoy Noel Chance Michael & Gerry Worcester 20-1 14

1996 Imperial Call 7-12-00 Conor O’Dwyer Fergie Sutherland IRE Lisselan Farms Ltd 9-2 10

1995 Master Oats 9-12-00 Norman Williamson Kim Bailey Paul Matthews 100-30F 15

1994 The Fellow 9-12-00 Adam Kondrat Francois Doumen FR Marquesa De Moratalla 7-1 15

1993 Jodami 8-12-00 Mark Dwyer Peter Beaumont John Yeadon 8-1 16

1992 Cool Ground 10-12-00 Adrian Maguire Toby Balding Whitcombe Manor Racing Stables 25-1 8

1991 Garrison Savannah 8-12-00 Mark Pitman Jenny Pitman Autofour Engineering 16-1 14

1990 Norton’s Coin 9-12-00 Graham McCourt Sirrell Griffiths Sirrell Griffiths 100-1 12

1989 Desert Orchid 10-12-00 Simon Sherwood David Elsworth Richard Burridge 5-2F 13

1988 Charter Party 10-12-00 Richard Dunwoody David Nicholson Claire Smith & Jenny Mould 10-1 15

1987 The Thinker 9-12-00 Ridley Lamb Arthur Stephenson TPM McDonagh Ltd 13-2 12

1986 Dawn Run 8-11-09 Jonjo O'Neill Paddy Mullins IRE Charmian Hill 15-8F 11

1985 Forgive N' Forget 8-12-00 Mark Dwyer Jimmy FitzGerald T Kilroe and Sons Ltd 7-1 15

1984 Burrough Hill Lad 8-12-00 Phil Tuck Jenny Pitman Stan Riley 7-2 12

1983 Bregawn 9-12-00 Graham Bradley Michael Dickinson James Kennelly 100-30F 11

1982 Silver Buck 10-12-00 Robert Earnshaw Michael Dickinson Christine Feather 8-1 22

1981 Little Owl 7-12-00 Mr Jim Wilson Peter Easterby Robin Wilson 6-1 15

1980 Master Smudge 8-12-00 Richard Hoare Arthur Barrow Arthur Barrow 14-1 15

1979 Alverton 9-12-00 Jonjo O'Neill Peter Easterby Snailwell Stud Co Ltd 5-1JF 14

1978 Midnight Court 7-12-00 John Francome Fred Winter Olive Jackson 5-2 10

1977 Davy Lad 7-12-00 Dessie Hughes Mick O'Toole IRE Mrs Joe McGowan 14-1 13

1976 Royal Frolic 7-12-00 John Burke Fred Rimell Sir Edward Hanmer 14-1 11

1975 Ten Up 8-12-00 Tommy Carberry Jim Dreaper IRE Anne, Duchess of Westminster 2-1 8

1974 Captain Christy 7-12-00 Bobby Beasley Pat Taaffe IRE Mrs Jane M A Samuel 7-1 7

1973 The Dikler 10-12-00 Ron Barry Fulke Walwyn Mrs D W August 9-1 8

1972 Glencaraig Lady 8-12-00 Frank Berry Francis Flood IRE P Doyle 6-1 12

1971 L'Escargot 8-12-00 Tommy Carberry Dan Moore IRE Raymond Guest 7-2JF 8

1970 L'Escargot 7-12-00 Tommy Carberry Dan Moore IRE Raymond Guest 33-1 12

1969 What A Myth 12-12-00 Paul Kelleway Ryan Price Lady Weir 8-1 11

1968 Fort Leney 10-12-00 Pat Taaffe Tom Dreaper IRE Colonel John Thomson 11-2 5

1967 Woodland Venture 7-12-00 Terry Biddlecombe Fred Rimell Harry Collins 100-8 8

1966 Arkle 9-12-00 Pat Taaffe Tom Dreaper IRE Anne, Duchess of Westminster 1-10F 5

1965 Arkle 8-12-00 Pat Taaffe Tom Dreaper IRE Anne, Duchess of Westminster 3-10F 4

1964 Arkle 7-12-00 Pat Taaffe Tom Dreaper IRE Anne, Duchess of Westminster 7-4 4

1963 Mill House 6-12-00 Willie Robinson Fulke Walwyn Bill Gollings 7-2F 12

1962 Mandarin 11-12-00 Fred Winter Fulke Walwyn Madame Peggy Hennessy 7-2 10

1961 Saffron Tartan 10-12-00 Fred Winter Don Butchers Colonel Guy Westmacott 2-1F 9

1960 Pas Seul 7-12-00 Bill Rees Bob Turnell John Rogerson 6-1 11

1959 Roddy Owen 10-12-00 Bobby Beasley Danny Morgan IRE Lord Fingall 5-1 11

1958 Kerstin 8-12-00 Stan Hayhurst Verly Bewicke George H Moore 7-1 9

1957 Linwell 9-12-00 Michael Scudamore Charlie Mallon David Brown 100-9 13

1956 Limber Hill 9-12-00 Jimmy Power Bill Dutton John Davey 11-8F 11

1955 Gay Donald 9-12-00 Tony Grantham Jim Ford P J Burt 33-1 9

1954 Four Ten 8-12-00 Tommy Cusack John Roberts A Strange 100-6 6

1953 Knock Hard 9-12-00 Tim Molony Vincent O'Brien IRE Mrs Harry Keogh 11-2 12

1952 Mount Tremblant 6-12-00 Dave Dick Fulke Walwyn Dorothy Paget 8-1 13

1951 Silver Fame 12-12-00 Martin Molony George Beeby Lord Bicester 6-4F 6

1950 Cottage Rake 11-12-00 Aubrey Brabazon Vincent O'Brien IRE Frank Vickerman 5-6F 6

1949 Cottage Rake 10-12-00 Aubrey Brabazon Vincent O'Brien IRE Frank Vickerman 4-6F 6

1948 Cottage Rake 9-12-00 Aubrey Brabazon Vincent O'Brien IRE Frank Vickerman 10-1 12

1947 Fortina 6-12-00 Mr Richard Black Hector Christie Lord Grimthorpe 8-1 12

1946 Prince Regent 11-12-00 Tim Hyde Tom Dreaper IRE Jimmy Rank 4-7F 6

1945 Red Rower 11-12-00 Davy Jones Lord Stalbridge Lord Stalbridge 11-4F 16

1943-1944 No race

1942 Medoc II 8-12-00 Frenchie Nicholson Reg Hobbs Lord Sefton 9-2 12

1941 Poet Prince 9-12-00 Roger Burford Ivor Anthony D Sherbrooke 7-2 10

1940 Roman Hackle 7-12-00 Evan Williams Owen Anthony Dorothy Paget Evs 7

1939 Brendans Cottage 9-12-00 George Owen George Beeby Mrs Arthur Smith-Bingham 8-1 5

1938 Morse Code 9-12-00 Danny Morgan Ivor Anthony Lt Col Dealtry Part 13-2 6

1937 No race (flooded)

1936 Golden Miller 9-12-00 Evan Williams Owen Anthony Dorothy Paget 21-20F 6

1935 Golden Miller 8-12-00 Gerry Wilson Basil Briscoe Dorothy Paget 1-2F 5

1934 Golden Miller 7-12-00 Gerry Wilson Basil Briscoe Dorothy Paget 6-5F 7

1933 Golden Miller 6-12-00 Billy Stott Basil Briscoe Dorothy Paget 4-7F 7

1932 Golden Miller 5-11-05 Ted Leader Basil Briscoe Dorothy Paget 13-2 6

1931 No race (frost)

1930 Easter Hero 10-12-00 Tommy Cullinan Jack Anthony John Hay Whitney 8-11F 4

1929 Easter Hero 9-12-00 Dick Rees Jack Anthony John Hay Whitney 7-4F 10

1928 Patron Saint 5-11-05 Dick Rees Stanley Harrison F W Keen 7-2 7

1927 Thrown In 11-12-00 Hon Hugh Grosvenor Owen Anthony Lord Stalbridge 10-1 8

1926 Koko 8-12-00 Tim Hamey Alfred Bickley Frank Barbour 10-1 8

1925 Ballinode 9-12-00 Ted Leader Frank Morgan IRE J C Bentley 3-1 4

1924 Red Splash 5-11-05 Dick Rees Fred Withington Major Everard Wyndham 5-1 9


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