How many female trainers have won the Cheltenham Gold Cup?
The short answer is three, although those three female trainers are actually responsible for six Cheltenham Gold Cup victories between them. Jenny Pitman, who had already made history by becoming the first woman to saddle a Grand National winner in 1983, wasted no time when repeating the dose in the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 1984, courtesy of Burrough Hill Lad. She also won the ‘Blue Riband’ event again in 1991, with Garrison Savannah, ridden by her son, Mark.
Just over a decade later, in the wake of an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease, which caused the 2001 Cheltenham Festival to be abandoned, Henrietta Knight saddled Best Mate to a notable hat-trick in the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2002, 2003 and 2004. He became the first horse since the legendary Arkle, 38 years earlier, to win the race three years running.
Last, but by no means least, Irish trainer Jessica Harrington saddled Sizing John to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2017. Mrs. Harrington, 70, was having her first runner in the race and later joked about ‘beginner’s luck’, despite having previously won the Queen Mother Champion Chase (twice) and the Champion Hurdle.