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March 8, 2012

History of the Cheltenham Gold Cup | Grade 1 National Hunt Race

History Of Cheltenham Gold Cup

Why Do We Love The Cheltenham Gold Cup

The Cheltenham Gold Cup has its origins as far back as 1819 when it was a 3m flat race held at Cleeve Hill. It wasn’t until 1924 till the Cheltenham Gold Cup was inaugurated into the Steeplechase race that we know and love today.
Due to the success of the festival and the large crowds that it attracts, it has run for 4 days rather than three since 2005. The festival itself is worth a small fortune to Cheltenham and its neighboring Cotswold villages, with over £50 million expected to be generated over the week. This has a lot to do with the 20,000 bottles of champagne and quarter of a million pints of Guinness been sunk. There is also a £2m tented village erected every year that eclipses any other sporting event so the punters can enjoy the 4 days. The 27 races held total around £4m of prize money.
Today the Grade 1 National Hunt Race is open to horses 5 years and older and run over a distance of 3miles and 2 ½ furlongs. 22 fences and a grueling hill are negotiated before the Gold Cup can be held aloft at Prestbury Park.
Some top horses have won the Gold Cup such as the likes of Golden Miller (5 in a row in the 30’s), Arkle (3 in a row, 60’s) Best Mate (3 in a row 2002,3,4) and more recently Kauto Star who became the first horse to regain the prize. He will be heading for his third win in this years race.
This years Gold Cup should prove to be a tremendous contest with Kauto Star and Long run going head to head once again. Burton Port has been backed in from nowhere and Grands Crus will also give it a good go.
It’s not only the Gold Cup that people flock to see as the festival holds a massive 12 Grade 1 races many of which are steeped in history. The Champion Hurdle was first run in 1927 and the Queen Mother Champion Chase in 1959.
Race reviews and tips on the big races to follow soon.