Cheltenham Gold Cup
2015 Gold Cup Result
Coneygree Becomes First Novice To Win Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup Since Captain Christy In 1974
Coneygree beat off the attentions of a host of experienced and highly-rated chasers to win National Hunt racing's blue riband in good style, with an impeccable round of jumping that will live long in the memory.
Mark Bradstock’s Bay made all the running from the front and seemed to thrive under the soft ground created by an overnight downpour, but was tracked at a fierce pace for the entirety of the race by last year's runner-up On His Own and Irish Hennessey scorer Road To Riches.
The latter stayed on well up the run in, but was overtaken by Thyestes Chase winner Djakadam in the closing stages, though neither could reel in the mount of Nico de Boinville as Coneygree held on by a length-and-a-half to land the Gold Cup on just his fourth start over fences.
It was a case of third time unlucky for Silviniaco Conti having finished fourth a year earlier and suffered a fall when in contention for the 2013 renewal. The well supported favourite had posted by far the best form heading into the race, but was among those ridden into submission by Coneygree and had to settle for seventh spot.
Five runners were unable to cope with the intense pace set by Coneygree on soft ground and were pulled up including Home Farm, Sam Winner, The Giant Bolster along with former winners Bob's Worth and Lord Windermere, the latter losing touch by the time the field had even completed the first circuit.
Brief Intro To The Cheltenham Gold Cup
The four-day Cheltenham Festival concludes with Gold Cup Day, which comprises of two Grade 1 events, three competitive handicaps and - of course - the Cheltenham Gold Cup itself.
The Cheltenham Gold Cup is the highlight of the jump racing season and the Grade 1 National Hunt chase is open to horses aged five and above.
It takes place on the New Course at Cheltenham, where the horses race over three miles and two-and-a-half furlongs - jumping 22 fences on the way. The undulations of the course conclude with a testing finish, up the legendary Cheltenham hill.
The Cheltenham Gold Cup attracts the best chasers of the season and - in recent years - the memorable wins of racing legends Kauto Star, Long Run and Denman have boosted the popularity of the race.
Cheltenham Racecourse generates gate revenues of £7 million over the four-day Cheltenham Festival, with a significant influx of Irish spectators enjoying the performances of the Irish-trained horses.
Over 200,000 pints of Guinness are consumed at the Festival - which also provides major retail opportunities for spectators - and around £1 million is bet on-site on each race, with considerably more wagered on the Cheltenham Gold Cup race.
History Of The Cheltenham Gold Cup
This historic race was first run in 1924 and was first dominated in the 1930’s by Golden Miller, who won it five times.
The 1960s then saw a dominant spell by Arkle - as he cemented his legacy as arguably the greatest steeplechaser ever seen by recording three consecutive wins from 1964 to 1966. Prior to his third win in 1966, the bookmakers were offering odds of 1/10 on Arkle - the shortest price for any winner in the race’s history.
In 1983, trainer Michael Dickinson also entered the record books - as he trained the first five horses home, with the Graham Bradley-ridden Bregawn taking top spot.
In 1986, Dawn Run passed the post first to rapturous applause, after winning the Champion Hurdle two years earlier. This makes him the only horse to have won both races.
Celebrated horse Desert Orchid won the race in 1989, beating Yahoo in desperate conditions. The following year, a little known horse - Norton’s Coin - won at odds of 100/1, the longest starting price in the history of this celebrated event.
From 2002 to 2004, the event was dominated by Best Mate. Five years after that, in 2009, Kauto Star became the first horse to regain the cup - from rival Denman - that he had previously won two years before.
2014 Gold Cup Result
Lord Windermere shocks the old order to give Ireland its first Gold Cup winner for eight years
Lord Windermere was the surprise 20/1 winner of the 2014 Cheltenham Gold Cup making Jim Culloty only the fourth man to to both train and ride a Gold Cup winner. Culloty was the celebrated jockey who rode Best Mate to three victories in the Cheltenham showpiece and returned 10 years later to sweep aside the old order with Lord Windermere.
Jockey Davey Russell managed to hang on in a thrilling finish and survived a stewards enquiry to deny second placed On His Own by a short head. The Giant Bolster had finished second and fourth in previous Gold Cups and had to settle for third this time, beaten by just a length. The stewards took 15 minutes to make a decision after Lord Windermere veered towards the runner up on the run in before Culloty could celebrate giving the Irish their first Gold Cup win in eight years.
The race was meant to be a contest between favourite Bobs Worth and Silviniaco Conti. Bobs Worth was sent off favourite but made a few jumping errors early in the race and was unable to mount a serious challenge, finishing fifth staying on past weakening runners. Silviniaco Conti took the lead after four out but faded to fourth after being headed in the last half furlong.
2013 Gold Cup Result
Bobs Worth Continues Three-Year Festival Winning Streak With Maiden Gold Cup Victory
After winning all three of his starts at Cheltenham in 2011 - culminating in a two-and-a-quarter length victory over Mossley in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle - the Nicky Henderson-trained Bobs Worth went on to win the RSA Chase at the following year’s festival, keeping his unbeaten record at Prestbury Park.
A comfortable victory under 11st 6lb in Newbury’s Hennessy Gold Cup, on the son of Bob Back’s only start the following season, meant that expectations were high that the 8-year-old could make it five from five over the course in the Betfred Gold Cup. And the mount of Barry Geraghty did not disappoint.
Going off the 11/4 favourite, Bobs Worth’s task was made easier when the strongly-fancied Silviniaco Conti came down at the third-last when travelling strongly - at which point, the market leader looked to be in trouble behind chief rival’s Long Run and Sir Des Champs.
However, once the horse’s stamina kicked-in after jumping the second-last, the race was effectively over - as Bobs Worth forged up the hill to record a seven-length victory over Irish challenger Sir Des Champs.
2012 Cheltenham Gold Cup Result
Sychronised Provides First Gold Cup Win For Legend JP McManus
The purse for the Cheltenham Gold Cup was a weighty £491,850 in 2012, with winner Synchronised running away with the £284,750 top prize.
The AP McCoy-ridden Synchronised saw off all challengers, including Kauto Star - who was attempting a third Gold Cup win. His win also provided trainer Jonjo O’Neill and owner JP McManus with their first Gold Cup.
Unfortunately, Synchronised met with a fatal injury when running loose in the following month’s Grand National - robbing the sport of a horse who had only just started to fulfil his potential.