The first Cheltenham Gold Cup was held in 1819, but as a three-mile race with no jumps. The modern version with jumps was first ran in 1924 with the winner taking home £685.
- Prize money at the Cheltenham Festival will exceed £4 million for the first time this year.
- The amount of prize money in pounds sterling on offer for the Gold Cup this year is £575,000.
- The maximum capacity of the Cheltenham Racecourse spectator facilities on Cheltenham Gold Cup Day is 67,500.
- 21,120 feet is the distance run during the National Hunt Chase, The Festival’s longest race.
- 10,000 Irish racing fans travel to Prestbury Park to watch The Festival each day.
- In 1934, Golden Miller became the first horse to win both the Cheltenham Gold Cup and the Grand National in a season.
- 27 National Hunt races run at The Festival.
- 22 fences are jumped during the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
- The most consecutive victories by a racehorse in any Cheltenham Festival race was 5, achieved by Golden Miller in the Cheltenham Gold Cup between 1932 and 1936, and Quevega in the OLBG Mares’ Hurdle between 2009 and 2013.
- The most wins by a jockey in a single year was 7, with Ruby Walsh.
Ahead of the Festival, Ruby Walsh steers Annie Power at Punchestown.
Photograph: Pat Healy/racingfotos.com/Rex/Shutterstock
The Gold Cup
The Gold Cup has only been cancelled three times in its history, outside of the two World Wars. A frozen course forced cancellation in 1931, and flooding stopped races in 1937. The entire Cheltenham Festival was cancelled in 2001 due to a local outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease.
In 2014 Festival as Quevega became the only horse to win six times. What’s more, she achieved the victories in consecutive seasons. Her latest win surpassed Golden Miller’s five consecutive races between 1932 and 1936. (Golden Miller was also the first horse to win the Gold Cup and the Grand National in the same season.)
Norton’s Coin achieved a record of his win in 1990, when he became the longest-odds winner of the Gold Cup. Starting at 100-1, no one expected Norton’s Coin and jockey Graham McCourt to be a contender but they stunned the crowd, and the favourite Desert Orchid, to clinch the win.