The Cheltenham Gold Cup is to National Hunt racing what The Derby is to flat racing; the Blue Riband event within the sport.
Horses tend to need a little of everything to win a Gold Cup. Some tactical speed is required to get into position when the race gets going in earnest, balance and fine jumping ability are crucial around Cheltenham and then finally, having put that much effort in already, sheer stamina is the name of the game in order to get home up the hill at the end of a gruelling 3¼ miles.
The Gold Cup is reserved for day four of the Cheltenham Festival, the final day, and is the most valuable National Hunt event after the Grand National at £625,000. Runners must negotiate 22 fences around the New Course with this race and the big one at Aintree being the two all trainers and jockeys want to win.
Past winners include genuine jumps racing legends Golden Miller, Arkle, L’Escargot, Dawn Run, Best Mate, Kauto Star, Denman and the most recent dual winner, Al Boum Photo.