The Cheltenham Gold Cup – Jump Racing’s Greatest Prize

March 10, 2023

It has been described as the blue riband, the top of the mountain, and even the holy grail of jump racing. The Cheltenham Gold Cup is the prize that everyone involved in the sport wants to win, but only the best of the best will ever get to add their name to the list of legends that have captured the ultimate prize in the past.

The list of former winners rolls off the tongue like a who’s who of jump racing, with some of the most legendary equine talents having tasted victory in the showpiece of the world-famous Cheltenham Festival.

Winning A Gold Cup

Winning a Cheltenham Gold Cup takes a special type of horse. Potential winners must possess a mix of unique attributes rarely seen in the jump racing sphere. Speed, stamina, and pinpoint jumping are a must, but, as has been proven in years past, any winner will also require the heart of a lion.

As the 2023 Gold Cup approaches, there is one horse in the race that seems to possess everything mentioned above. Galopin Des Champs is at the top of the list of fans’ potential Cheltenham bets,, with the Irish-trained superstar now at the head of the betting markets at a price of 6/4.

History has proven that betting on the Gold Cup ante-post markets is an advisable way of getting in on the action, as horses with the talent of Galopin Des Champs are likely to have the support of many bettors on the day of the race, resulting in much smaller prices being available.

Famous Gold Cup Winners

Kauto Star

When you talk about Cheltenham Gold Cups in recent memory, one name comes to mind straight away. Kauto Star is regarded as one of the greatest horses to ever grace the turf and has a long list of the biggest races in the sport to his name, including two Gold Cups at the Cheltenham Festival.

Jump racing in the noughties was dominated by trainer Paul Nicholls’s horses, and in 2007 and 2009, Kauto Star reached the pinnacle of the sport with Gold Cup wins. He became the first horse in the history of the race to regain the title, having been denied a hat-trick in between by his stablemate, and fellow Gold Cup legend, Denman.

Best Mate

Just a few years previous to Kauto Star’s exploits, the Gold Cup was dominated by one horse, Best Mate. Trained by Britain’s Henrietta Knight, and ridden by Irish jockey, Jim Culloty, Best Mate became the first horse since the legendary Arkle to win the race three years in a row in 2002, 2003, and 2004.

To mark his achievements in the Gold Cup, a statue now stands of the great horse at the Cheltenham racecourse.


One of the greatest horses of all time, Arkle is known the world over for his exploits in jump racing. The Irish hero dominated racing in the sixties, capturing the imagination of the public with his many heroic performances in the sport’s biggest races.

From 1964 to 1966, Arkle was unbeatable in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, and also added a King George VI Chase win and a plethora of top-level race victories in his native Ireland to his incredible cv.

Arkle now has a race named in his honor at the Cheltenham Festival, the ultimate recognition of his exploits at jump racing’s greatest show.

@jonathanstettin I had goosebumps reading that. Excellent work, thank you for sharing!

Michael Glew (@Harnessracer101) View testimonials