The Cheltenham Gold Cup first was ran in 1819, amazingly as a flat race over three miles, at a course that overlooks Prestbury Park and it wasn’t until 1924, that the race was ran over jumps.
When it was first added to the Festival, it was not seen as the feature race at all, overshadowed by National Hunt Chase and it had poor prize money, with even races such as the County Handicap Hurdle being more lucrative.
The 1930’s saw the races’ most successful horse, Golden Miller who won the race five times back to back from 1932 to 1936 and went on to Grand National glory.
The Gold Cup’s profile really was raised following the Second World War when Cottage Rake won the race three times from 1948 to 1950 for Vincent O’Brien and really bought the race up in prestige.
The great Arkle was also a winner three years in a row during the 1960’s, including going off at 1/10 for his third victory, the shortest price to date. Another landmark was in 1983, when trainer Michael Dickinson trained the first five home.
1990 saw victory for 100/1 shot Norton’s Coin, the longest ever priced winner of the race whilst in 2009 Kauto Star became the first ever horse to retain the Gold Cup after winning it 2007.