What’s the course record for the Cheltenham Gold Cup?

What's the course record for the Cheltenham Gold Cup? The course record for the Cheltenham Gold Cup, in its current guise – that is, run over a distance of 3 mile 2½ furlongs on the New Course at Prestbury Park – stands at 6:29.70. The record was set by the 6-year-old Long Run, trained by Nicky Henderson and ridden by Sam Waley-Cohen, who, in 2011, won a vintage renewal of the ‘Blue Riband’ event, which featured previous winners Kauto Star, Denman and Imperial Commander, among others.

Surprisingly, though, the current course record does not represent the fastest winning time ever in the history of the Cheltenham Gold Cup. The 1941 winner, Poet Prince, ridden by Roger Burford – deputising for owner David Sherbrooke, who had been badly shaken in a fall the previous day – and trained by Ivor Anthony, clocked a remarkable 6:15.60. However, his win not only came at a time when the Cheltenham Gold Cup was still run on the Old Course, which is less of a stamina test than the New Course, but over a distance of just 3 miles.

A decade later, favourite Silver Fame clocked a time of 6:23.40 when edging out Greenogue, by a short head, in the 1951 renewal of the Cheltenham Gold Cup. However, that race was notable for the fact that it was postponed until late April because of inclement weather and, while it was run over an advertised distance of ‘3¼ miles’, was staged, once again, on the Old Course.

What’s the record for most consecutive wins at the Cheltenham Festival?

What's the record for most consecutive wins at the Cheltenham Festival? The record for most consecutive wins at the Cheltenham Festival currently stands at six and was set on March 11, 2014, when the 10-year-old mare Quevega ran on gamely in the closing stages to beat stable companion Glens Melody by threequarters of a length in the OLBG Mares’ Hurdle. In so doing, Quevega broke the previous record set by ‘Steeplechaser of the Century’ Golden Miller, who won the Cheltenham Gold Cup five years running between 1932 and 1936.

Bred and originally trained in France, Quevega joined Co. Carlow trainer Willie Mullins, as a 4-year-old, in January, 2008, but did not make her first appearance at the Cheltenham Festival until March, 2009. When she did, she made an immediate impact, justifying favouritism in the David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle, as the race is officially registered, with an impressive 14-length win.

Indeed, she would start favourite for the same race for the next five years running and, with the possible exception of 2013 – when she was left with plenty to do after being hampered on the home turn – barely gave her supporters an anxious moment. Even on that occasion, she recovered to lead inside the final hundred yards to win going away. Rightly inducted into the Hall of Fame at Cheltenham Racecourse in 2016, she was hailed by Ruby Walsh, who rode her to all six victories, as a ‘great mare’.

Which are the biggest outsiders to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup?

Which are the biggest outsiders to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup? Of course, the Cheltenham Gold Cup is a ‘conditions’ race, run at level weights, with weight-for-age and weight-for-sex allowances. As such, it would be reasonable to assume that winning outsiders are something of a rarity. In fact, for the first three decades of its existence, as a steeplechase, the longest-priced winner was the locally-trained Four Ten, at 100/6, in 1954. However, the very next year, Gay Donald, trained by Jim Ford and ridden by Tony Grantham, sprang the first real surprise when winning, easily, at 33/1.

The Cheltenham Gold Cup was transferred to the New Course at Prestbury Park in 1959, but it was not until 1970 that L’Escargot, trained by Dan Moore and ridden by Tommy Carberry, also popped up at 33/1. To his credit, L’Escargot proved that effort was no fluke by returning to Cheltenham to defend his title in 1971, at rather less ‘shocking’ odds of 7/2.

It was nearly two decades later that the next unlikely winner came along, but when he did, he caused the ‘Shock of the Century’, according to the ‘Racing Post’. The unlikeliest of unlikely winners was Norton’s Coin, a previously unheralded 9-year-old, trained by Carmarthenshire permit-holder ridden by Graham McCourt. Belying odds of 100/1, Norton’s Coin was always going well and led on the run-in to beat Toby Tobias and defending champion Desert Orchid, breaking the course record in the process. Indeed, the Nineties proved a profitable decade for outsiders, with Cool Ground and his near namesake Cool Dawn both winning at 25/1, in 1992 and 1998, respectively.

Which are the shortest-priced winners of the Cheltenham Gold Cup?

Which are the shortest-priced winners of the Cheltenham Gold Cup? At the time of writing, in 92 runnings since its inauguration, the Cheltenham Gold Cup has thrown up nine odds-on winners – all of whom, with one exception, were also multiple winners – but, interestingly, only one since 1966. The first odds-on winner was Easter Hero, who was sent off at odds of 8/11 for the second of his two wins, in 1930. He was followed shortly afterwards by the celebrated Golden Miller, who started at 4/7 and 1/2 for the second and fourth victories of his unprecedented five-timer, in 1933 and 1935 respectively.

Next up was Prince Regent, at 4/7, in 1946, who has the distinction of being the only one of the odds-on winners to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup just once. Indeed, the last five odds-on winners – which were, in fact, just three different horses – were all in the process of completing hat-tricks. Cottage Rake was sent off 4/6 and 5/6 for the second and third legs of his hat-trick, in 1949 and 1950, Arkle started 30/100 and 1/10 for the second and third legs of his, in 1965 and 1966, and Best Mate was returned at 8/11 for the third and final leg of his, in 2004. Unsurprisingly, Arkle – arguably the greatest steeplechaser of all time – holds the record for the shortest-priced winner in Gold Cup history.

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