The Cheltenham Gold Cup

The Cheltenham Gold Cup is a Grade 1 National Hunt horse race in the United Kingdom for steeplechase horses which takes place at Cheltenham Racecourse annually in March. It is one of the most prestigious horse races in the UK and has been won by some of the most famous horses in steeplechasing history including Arkle, Best Mate and Kauto Star. The course over which it is run features some of the toughest fences on the circuit including “The Chair”, “Foinavon” and “Valentine’s Brook”. It is traditionally known as “The Gold Cup” because its trophy contains actual gold!

The event was devised by William Black who was also responsible for creating International events such as the Festival Cup at the Royal Military Tournament and the King George V Stakes which later became known as the Celebration Chase.

The inaugural race was held in 1819 when it was won by Lord Grosvenor’s Comus, ridden by Ben Smith, but it is believed that William Bligh, Commodore of Plymouth Hoe races ran a four-mile steeplechase in 1776 which he called ‘the Cheltenham Gold Cup’.

The first running of the official event was in 1860 and was won by the appropriately named Veiled Threat (a horse with blinders on). The next year saw one of the most notorious moments in racing history when Master McGrath fell at The Chair fence – bringing down several other horses including the favourite, Merry Hampton.

Only three horses have ever won the event three years in a row – Faugh-a-Ballagh (1866, 1867 and 1868), Manifesto (1930 to 1932) and Best Mate (2002, 2003 and 2004).

Six other horses have since achieved the feat of winning the Gold Cup twice in a row: Formosa (1872 and 1873), Ormonde (1886 and 1887), Gay Crusader (1922 and 1923), Limber Hill (1936 & 1937), Mill House (1967 & 1968) and Kauto Star (2007 & 2008). Only two of these victories were at consecutive runnings of the race. The other four occurred when there was no running of the race between the two victories.

Fly to The Cheltenham Gold Cup with Atlas Helicopters

You can fly to the heart of the racecourse in luxury and style with Atlas Helicopters. Not only will you bypass all the traffic on the way there, but there is also no need to worry about any queues once you’re there. Don’t worry, we won’t charge you for extra baggage when you come home with all your winnings!

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