Below are all the general facts about the Cheltenham Gold Cup that you could need to know.
The first Cheltenham Gold Cup was a three-mile Flat race in 1819, won by Mr Bodenham’s Spectre. The chase as we now know it was introduced in 1924, with Red Splash successful. The winning prize money was £700.
The Cheltenham Gold Cup is now the most valuable non-handicap chase in Britain. The total prize money for the 2012 running will be£500,000.
A new Cheltenham Gold Cup is minted each year. There is 10 ounces of gold in the trophy, which will make it worth around £10,800.
Three miles and two-and-a-half furlongs, the length of the Gold Cup course, is the equivalent of 5,331 metres, so further than Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele ran to win the 5,000 metres at the Beijing Olympics, with 22 fences for each horse to negotiate too. It took Bekele almost 13 minutes to claim his gold, whereas 2011 Gold Cup winner Long Run did the business in just under six-and-a-half.
Golden Miller holds the record for the most Gold Cup victories, with five consecutive wins from 1932 to 1936.
Only seven horses have won more than once.
A total of ten favourites since 1980 have justified market confidence.
There have been four Irish-trained winners since 1980.
Since 1980, ten 9-year-olds, nine 8-year-olds, six 7-year-olds and five 10-year-olds have been successful.
The most successful trainer was Tom Dreaper, who won five Gold Cups with three separate horses – Prince Regent (1946), Arkle (1964, 1965 and 1966) and Fort Leney (1968).
The longest-priced winner of the Gold Cup is Norton’s Coin, who started at 100/1 in 1990 and was available at 200/1 before that.
The shortest-priced winner was Arkle, the 1/10 favourite in 1966.
This article was written for Close Up, the world’s best informed sports and betting magazine. Click here to get a FREE version of Close Up for your iPAD.