How many horses have won the Cheltenham Gold Cup more than once?
The Cheltenham Gold Cup, as a steeplechase, was inaugurated in 1924 and, as such, pre-dates the Champion Hurdle by three years. However, while the Champion Hurdle has seen 15 multiple winners down the years, the Cheltenham Gold Cup has seen just eight.
The first of them, Easter Hero, recorded back-to-back victories, both by 20 lengths, in 1929 and 1930, at a time when the Cheltenham Gold Cup was still run on the Old Course at Prestbury Park. The 1931 renewal of the Cheltenham Gold Cup was abandoned, due to frost, but for the next five years the race was dominated by ‘Steeplechaser of the Century’ Golden Miller, who also won the Grand National in 1934.
Following World War II, Cottage Rake completed a hat-trick of successes in 1948, 1949 and 1950 and Arkle – widely considered the greatest steeplechaser of all time – did likewise in 1964, 1965 and 1966, by which time the Cheltenham Gold Cup had been transferred to the New Course. More recently, L’Escargot won consecutive renewals in 1970 and 1971, Best Mate became the last horse to win three in a row in 2002, 2003 and 2004 and, in 2009, Kauto Star made history by becoming the first horse to recapture his title, having won in 2007 and finished second to stablemate Denman in 2008. Of course, Al Boum Photo won the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2019 and 2020 and may yet win three, or more, in a row.